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curiosity cloud
2015 | interactive sound installation
commissioned by Perrier-Jouët Champagne
an interactive installation that reacts to each visitor
shown in the Norfolk house music room of th V&A, the sound installation had an astonishing background (photo credit: Ed Reeve)
measuring 3m x 5m, the installation allowed visitors to walk through and thus interact with the piece (photo credit: Ed Reeve)
the best is to watch ephemerā in action | play movie by clicking on the image or here
human presence activate the artificial insects and they start swirling around in the glass vessel, additionally they are as well lit up (photo credit: Ed Reeve)
making of 'curiosity cloud' | play movie by clicking on the image or here
visitors can interact with the piece and be surprised by the natural appearance and flight pattern of the insects
since the bulbs light up and the insects fly when people approach them, the whole experience is a mixture between sound, light and movement
detail of an artificial, hand-made insect in a delicate glass vessel
25 different species were chosen after a research period, prototypes were made and finally more than 300 insects were hand-fabricated by mischer'traxler studio
the installation feels quite dream-like and positively surreal (photo credit: Ed Reeve)

'Curiosity cloud’ celebrates a moment in nature and plays on the interaction between humans and the natural world. Commissioned by Perrier-Jouët, the project was first presented in the Victoria and Albert Museum during London Design Festival 2015.

The installation comprises 264 mouth-blown glass bulbs, hanging in a room. Each glass-globe contains a single, hand-fabricated insect that refers to an existing species found in nature.
From a distance, the insects are quiet and calm. As visitors enter the darkened room and approach the installation, the bulbs close to the observers light up and the insects come to life. They start swirling around and flying inside the glass vessels, thus touching the glass and creating a soundscape. The glass bulbs allow the insects to appear alive, safe from the human’s touch, but still giving the possibility of interaction with the audience.

The shown insects represent 25 different species from all over the world, falling into three categories: extinct or highly endangered, very common and newly discovered. Together the insects form a selection of species that will never coexist next to each other in reality but represent a cycle of life, spanning from extinction to rediscoveries. Four of the represented species were already represented in the project ‘ephemerā’.

Traditional techniques like glass blowing and metal spinning were combined with contemporary technologies like laser- and water jet cutting. Technical elements like motors, custom- designed circuit boards and infrared-sensors control which of the insects are ‘waken up’.

The glass-bulbs were designed in 3 specific sizes and especially produced by Lobmeyr for the installation.

Curiosity Cloud invites the viewer into participation, discussion and questioning. It is the result of a investigation of how best to express the ideas of mankind’s relationship.

electro-technical development: Simon Laburda | DKAI
project assistant: Anouk Buntsma, Anais Bourcier, Maria Bauhofer
with special support by Martin Robitsch
many thanks as well to Lobmeyr for the glass

264 mouth-blown glass bulbs | artificial handcrafted insects made out of printed and lasercut foil adapted with felt, threads, hot glue and colour | metal hoods, motors, LEDs, custom made circuit boards, Infrared-sensors, various mechanical pieces

dimension: 500cm x 500cm x 380cm


Perrier-Jouët Champagne

London Design Festival