The Word Wolke /
The Word Cloud

> deutsche version

Slide installation on drape, 2000
(1 carousel slide projector, 81 slides,
semi-transparent drape, electric fan,
approx. 350 x 600 cm)

This installation is accompanied by a publication: Susanne Weirich: The Word Wolke, published by Edith Russ-Haus für Medienkunst, Oldenburg, 2001. With an essay by Knut Ebeling. Available in a German/English postcard edition
(18 postcards inside a sleeve).
The installation The Word Cloud is based on a series of cloud photographs made during one summer in Rotterdam. Meteorologically speaking, these are so-called cumulus clouds. Compositions showing a dramatically staggered sky shot through with blue and surging beams of sunlight evoke all manner of associations. Projected against a drape of semi-transparent fabric hung in front of a white wall and gently wafting in the breeze of an electric fan, the shifting images of clouds evolve into a visual puzzle heightened by an illusion of three-dimensionality. In some of the images fragmented sequences of words in German, Dutch and English flash up inside speech bubbles and then evaporate. The sketchy dialogue in the clouds intermingles a quote from Walter Benjamin's Berlin Childhood around 1900, passages from John Leefmans' poetry and selected instructions from the (German) assistance software accompanying Microsoft Word 98. Speech - which Benjamin claims is the most complete archive of non-sensual similarity and centred around the word 'cloud' - is merged with relatively undefinable snapshots of soft, puffy accumulations of water. The cloud, taken neither as a meteorological formation nor as a metaphor, becomes an ephemeral, non-linguistic condition.
In response to the question 'From where are you speaking?' with which the series of projections begins, Microsoft continues to assert that 'Word can help you'.

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