Buy Cloud (2019)

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When in the 15th century the Western ‘explorers’ went to what we now call America, they told the natives that they wanted to buy their land.

The natives were confused; Their land? To buy it?
Their vocabulary did not have a word or understanding for -ownership over natural resources-.

Nowadays, globally, we are so used to this system, that we hardly think about it twice.
What happens if we do?

To provoke this thought I wanted to take something that functions outside the system, and treat it like it is inside;

I’m selling clouds

In this ongoing research, I am exploring how ownership works on different levels, what kind of questions it evokes and answers.

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As a way to visualize the research, I designed a video-installation wherein different experts talk about the idea of selling clouds.

The installation functioned both as the studio where I held the interviews in, as the video installation wherein the final video is shown in.

The spectators/participants of the installation are laying on the grass while watching the video. With a webcam they are filmed from above, and the video transitions at certain moments from video to webcam. It shifts the perspective of the story from the humans looking at the clouds, to the clouds looking at the humans.

For the video I wanted to interview different expertises to have a broad spectrum of what it would mean to sell clouds.

For now, I interviewed a philosopher (Thijs Middeldorp, Parlement of things), an economist (Tjibbe Steenmans) and the first buyer of a cloud (Emile Almekinders). I also interweaved pieces of the lecture INSIDE of Bruno Latour.

In the future I would like to add more people such as a lawyer, a meteorologist, and a little kid.


Connected to the video installation I set up an Instagram account. it builds up a catalog of cloud and people can order their own cloud.

until now I have sold 4 clouds.

Ideally, I want the catalog to be automated and that prices are constructed by an algorithm that connects the estimated energy of the clouds with the currency.

For this I am learning to program and I want the help of a meteorologist.

research paths

philosophical — legal — economical — practical — communicative