These projects are smokin’!


Memory Cloud, Trafalgar Square

“Animating the built environment through conversation”

is the great tagline for the project Memory Cloud by Minimaforms, which was just presented at Trafalgar Square in London.

According to the website

Memory Cloud is based on smoke signals – one of the oldest forms of visual communication, for three nights the public will be invited to participate by sending text messages that will be grafted onto plumes of smoke. Fusing ancient and contemporary forms of communication, Memory Cloud creates a dynamic hybrid space that will project personal statements as part of an evolving text, animating the built environment through conversation.”

via Public Art Goes Up In Smoke

In 1999, Germaine Koh presented Prayers, an “ntervention with computer, electronic circuitry and fog machine,” at the Ottawa Art Gallery.

“Throughout the day, a computer interface captures all the keystrokes typed on another computer within the same building. In real time, it translates this raw data to Morse code and broadcasts into the surrounding atmosphere as Morse-encoded smoke signals (longer and shorter puffs of smoke from a standard fog machine) through a vent or other opening in the building. More and less active at various times of the day and its output more and less visible under varying conditions, the apparatus is a kind of exhaust system for the machine of daily industry. At the same time, it relates today’s electronic communications to previous revolutions in technology and communications: telegraph, binary languages, steam power, smoke signals. Everyday hopes and fleeting desires, channelled through the implements of daily work, are briefly given form as they are dispersed into the world at large, on the wing of a prayer.”

Also this past week, Ali Momeni and Robin Mandel presented Smoke and Hot Air at the Almost Cinema Festival in Vooruit, Gent.

Smoke and hot air animates my response to the relentless threats against Iran by a myriad of more fortunate countries in recent years. Sentences that include ‘attack Iran’ are scavanged from Google News and spoken using a text-to-speech synthesizer. The voice is then picked up by a microphone, analyzed, and translated into rhythmically corresponding smoke rings from a quartet of smoke ring makers.”
Ali Momeni

video here