ZERO1 Blog

Through the eyes of the Cloud Machine

We had the pleasure of working with artist Karolina Sobecka at South First Fridays this month when she showcased Cloud Machines. The ZERO1 Garage was transformed into the Cloud Lab where the public examined the Cloud Machine and the Cloud Collector weather balloons, as well as learn more about cloud formation and geo-engineering. Over 500 people came through the ZERO1 Garage that night and not only got to see the physical components of Sobecka’s Cloud Machine, Cloud Collector, as well as video documentation of them in action, but many visitors were able to engage directly with Sobecka. The following morning, many of us gathered at Pentencia Creek Park for the official launch of the Cloud Machine. Originally Sobecka had planned on launching both the Cloud Machine and the Cloud Collector, but it was a gorgeous day in San Jose with not a cloud in the sky, so the Cloud Collector was sadly grounded.

Can Artists Heal Nature?

Can artists heal nature? At its core, such a question evokes the ambiguous relationship between humanity and the natural landscape. As curator, writer and artist Janet Owen Driggs expressed in her ZERO1 BRINT IT! event, such a question is important “because of the assumptions the question rests upon.” Driggs spoke of the artistic perspective’s assumed power to depict the world relative to the eye of a single viewer in hopes of acheiving a representation that best corresponds with what is or is desired to be seen and experienced.


For many people, the notion of origin suggests a narrative of immigrating to one place from another, having daily roots in one country and familial, cultural or historical roots in another. However, since the proliferation of public access to DNA testing, narratives of origin have become more nuanced portraits of who we are and where we have come from, giving diversity visibility, as it is embodied within each of us.

Previous 2012 ZERO1 Biennial pieces on display at the new Exploratorium

Two of ZERO1 most popular pieces commissioned for the 2012 Biennial are on display at the new Exploratorium on Pier 15 in San Francisco. Pe Lang’s hypnotic installation Moving Objects and Stamen Design’s map The City from the Valley. Both pieces were among the most popular ones during the 2012 Biennial last summer.  

A peak into the platform prototype building

Understanding how to build a user-driven platform has stretched my non-geek brain to new areas. Thanks to my web guru and mentor Julie Thompson, a connection ZERO1 provided me with, I was able to direct my focus, during this first phase of platform-prototype building, to two major foundational areas of work: the platform-users’ needs and the platform’s search feature.    

But before I go any further, and for those who may be just joining in, my project is about building a platform that will become a hub for fostering art making in the social realm, and for promoting a healthy dialog and collaboration between this type of art practice and the sciences, the grant givers, the art institutions and the non-governmental agencies that operate with an integrative approach. The end goal of this platform is to foster a way to go about social change that integrates the creativity, the problem-stirring and the borderless experimenting capacity of socially engaged artists with disciplines that are normally bound by scientific procedures.