Cloud Machines, a public hearing, presentation, balloon launch and workshop organized by Karolina Sobecka
How has living in the Anthropocene changed our notion of ‘nature’? This question is approached by constructing and deploying devices which display and probe the knowledge, technology, ethics and aesthetics of our culture in respect to this notion.  The Cloud Machine is a personal device for weather modification, based on a geo-engineering technique to create brighter, more reflective clouds to counteract climate change.  The Cloud Collector is a device for collecting cloud moisture. Does the practice of making clouds let us feel more comfortable about climate engineering?  Or can such a practice be considered cloud ‘stewardship’ which implies a relationship with the atmosphere, and environmental ‘citizenship’ which might be enacted through observation and care?

: Friday, August 2nd to Monday August 5th, 2013
Time: See schedule below for hours
Location: ZERO1 Garage
439 S. 1st Street, San Jose

Cloud Machines Schedule

Friday, August 2nd 6:00pm-7:00pm- Public Forum
Discuss the process and implications of launching weather balloons over San Jose, CA at the ZERO1 Garage.

Friday, August 2nd 7:00pm-10:00pm, Cloud Lab at South First Fridays
The ZERO1 Garage will be transformed into the Cloud Lab where the public can examine the Cloud Machine and the Cloud Collector weather balloons, as well as learn more about cloud formation and geo-engineering.

Saturday, August 3rd 11:00am, Make a Cloud and Collect a Cloud
Participate in launching the Cloud Machine and Cloud Collector, two high altitude weather balloons, in Penitencia Creek Park, San Jose.

***Update. Launch of the Cloud Machine will happen at 11:00am. Meet between 10:00-10:30 at the large parking lot off of Berryessa Rd and across from the Berryessa Community Center.***

See Map HERE

Monday, August 5th 1:00pm, Cloud Lab
The ZERO1 Garage will be open for a workshop where you can see the results of Saturday’s launch, find out different cloud-making techniques, mix the cloud biome with your own, learn to think like a cloud, and discuss cloud ecologies. 


Clouds From Both Sides
Photographs of clouds are taken from a ground level at the same time that a satellite is photographing them from space.  Every image has a point of view.  In this project we balance the view of a machine with a counter-view, that of human observation. The public can contribute their images and observations to the project after downloading the schedule of satellite flyovers. The pairs of images are presented side by side, along with the meteorological analysis from the satellite and the human observation written at the same time.

Related Links
Cloud Maker: 
Cloud Collector:
Clouds from Both Sides:




NATURE AND PURPOSE: The purpose of the program is the sampling of existing clouds and creation of a small temporary cloud to benefit the global understanding of the atmosphere and of everything. The cloud will be created by the dispersal of water vapor and Cloud Condensation Nuclei in the form of salt (NaCl). Air based, DIY mode of cloud creation and cloud extraction will be used: weather balloon will deliver the dispersion and collection devices into the atmosphere.  The intended effect of the operation is to evoke wonder and curiosity, and to encourage discussion about environmental issues, climate-engineering proposals and individuals’ ability to affect change. The program enables  individuals to ‘learn in the public’: about the weather, the atmosphere, and the history of our attempts to control nature.  

LOCATION OF PURPOSE: Project operation will be conducted during the period between August 2nd and August 7th, 2013. Airborne operation would utilize air space over Santa Clara County, and portions of Stanislaus County. The target area for the operations is the Diablo Range of eastern Santa Clara County. Area adjacent which may be subject to the effects of the operation will be in Santa Clara Valley and San Joaquin Valley. 

LICENSEE: The project would be operated and supervised by the weather modification consultant Amateur Human.

PUBLIC HEARING: The hearing is open to the public and will be held at ZERO1 Garage, August 2nd at 6pm. ZERO1 invites the public to examine the details of the program and to take part in the discussion of the social and ethical aspects of human attempts to counteract the human impact on the planet.



Cloud Machines is part of ZERO1 summer program BRING IT! Each week this summer, we’re handing  over the ZERO1 Garage to innovative artists and community members who are pushing the boundaries of digital culture, using art to address real-world social challenges, and contributing to the community of creativity and innovation that Silicon Valley is known for.