Splash Image - Cloudsourcing
Cloud Music by Robert Watts, David Behrman and Bob Diamond (1974-79).© 1979, Robert Watts Estate, David Behrman, Bob Diamond.
July 11, 2013

We often look up and imagine what clouds look like, but have you ever wondered what a cloud sounded like? Well, wonder no more.

With the recent acquisition of Cloud Music, a collaboration between Robert Watts, David Behrman, and Bob Diamond, one window-lit corner of the Lincoln Gallery has been turned into a sky-driven audio/video installation. "The artwork reads the sky like a musical score and plays it out live in real time in the gallery space," says Michael Mansfield, associate curator of film and media arts. A closed-circuit camera scans the sky and translates its activity through a specialized video analyzer that sends signals into a custom music synthesizer. Whenever there is a change in the sky the harmonics in the gallery shift. Visitors can see the video on monitors as the aural experience unfolds.

When you stand in front of the installation, you'll find yourself rooting for birds, bad weather, or thick clouds to create new sounds. But, fear not, even a clear sky has its own kind of sound. As Mansfield points out, no matter the weather, "Cloud Music changes the way you look at the sky."

Learn more about the museum's film and media arts initiative on our website.

This post was revised on July 15, 2013.


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