Cloud Brocade

WORKShop, Canada & Le Festival Bains Numériques, France

Toronto, CAN - 2011

Cloud Brocade is a vertically oriented suspended geotextile equipped with a network of vessels that accumulates tiny amounts of stray organic matter from its surroundings. The underlying geometry of this work is generated from individual rhombus shaped elements, arranged in a non-repeating Penrose tessellation. Each tile can assume any of ten possible planar orientations allowing informal assembly akin to self-generation in natural growth patterns. Custom snap-fit silicon joints, acting much like cartilage, form resilient connections between elements giving the overall textile a high degree of flexibility and making it tolerant of large geometric distortions.

The Cloud Brocade system is organized in three strata that work in concert, performing functions of filtering, accumulation and primitive digestion. Tetrahedral pyramid skeletons made from custom laser-cut acrylic components form a delicate space-truss, studded with an array of small glass vessels that slowly gather atmospheric deposits. The vessels are seeded with simple ‘protocells’ that initiate primitive biological functions. A network of tubes affixed to the truss creates a basic circulatory system, connecting the glass vessels and enabling passive chemical exchanges. Felted layers of mylar fronds line the opposing side of the truss, acting as filtering membranes that pull valuable matter into the inner layers.

Cloud Brocade was first exhibited between October 2011 – February 2012 at WORKShop, an experimental design centre and gallery in Toronto, Canada. In June 2012, the sculpture was exhibited as part of Le Festival Bains Numériques in Enghien-les-Bains, France alongside a showing of photographs, drawings and video depicting the Hylozoic Series.