an installation that celebrates a moment in nature
curiosity cloud celebrates a moment in nature and plays on the interaction between humans and the natural environment – commissioned by maison Perrier-Jouët, it was first presented in the V&A 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 to produce the installation. 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 three specific sizes and especially produced by Lobmeyr for the installation.
main image above: curiosity cloud for Perrier Jouët at the V&A museum in London, image credit: Ed Reeve
curiosity cloud captures the magical fascination that insects have on humans and creates an engaging atmosphere
“The most astonishing thing about nature is that everything is interconnected and harmonious. Every aspect of a living creature has a raison d’être, working together in an endless cycle of dialogue and correlation.”
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, thermal images sensors, aluminium and steel construction
500 x 300 x 380 cm
Katharina Mischer, Thomas Traxler, Anouk Buntsma, Anais Bourcier, Maria Bauhofer
special thanks to
Lobmeyr, for the beautiful glassbulbs