Weather balloons collect data on the environment. This balloon monitors its immediate social environment, responding to playful human interactions by making “lighting” and “thunder.” A camera’s flash triggers the cloud to echo with its own strobe of light and capture a photo of the scene below. The balloon also invites tactile interaction. A series of hanging tethers allow participants to manipulate the cloud’s form and walk it around the room. The balloon’s electrically-conductive skin senses touch, and responds with a deep rumble of thunder.

This project was commissioned by the Eyebeam Art + Technology Center in New York City as part of MIXER: EXPO 2009. It was a collaboration with Aeolab (Elise Co & Nikita Pashenkov).

ClientEyebeam Center for Art + TechnologyYear2009