A few onlookers hold their collective breath as Dutch artist Berndnaut Smilde pushes a remote control button to activate a smoke machine in the Green Room of the Veterans Building in downtown San Francisco. Billowing smoke forms a luscious, cotton candy-like mass in the middle of the Beaux-Arts chamber before it vaporizes into haze, casting a luminous complexion on the room.
“It’s not so much about the shape of the cloud but about placing it out of its natural context,” he says. “It brings duality, because you can’t really grasp how to interpret the situation you are viewing. People have always had strong metaphysical connections to clouds as they symbolize the ominous.”
People’s fascination with Smilde’s clouds have only increased since TIME magazine listed them as one of the “Top 10 inventions of 2012″.
Watch as Berndnaut Smilde makes clouds in this latest video from The Avant/Garde Diaries.