Cloudy, with a Chance of Music

Cloud Music: now on exhibition in SAAM's Watch This! Revelations in Media Art

The best place to watch afternoon thunderstorms in D.C.? Hands down, it's the third floor of American Art, a special corner in the current exhibition, Watch This! Revelations in Media Art. Cloud Music, created between 1974-1979 by artists Robert Watts, David Berhman, and Bob Diamond is a weather-driven audio/visual installation that reads the sky like it's a musical score. A closed-circuit camera scans the sky and translates its activity through a video analyzer that sends signals into a specially-designed music synthesizer. Whenever there is a change in the sky the harmonics in the gallery shift. Inside the gallery, the sights and sounds unfold.

Today, with an afternoon of thunderstorms predicted, the musical score promises to be a performance worth catching. Will it be dark and brooding, or contemplative and soaring? Come in out of the rain and see (and hear) for yourself.

After viewing Cloud Music, take a look at April Gornik's Virga in the Lincoln Gallery, and Albert Bierstadt's Among the Sierra Nevada, California, on view in the East Wing, second floor. Let us know your favorite weather-related works of art, cloudy or not!

Cloud Music and Watch This! Revelations in Media Art remains on view through September 7.