If you’re of the coal-eyed, stormy variety who’s fond of graveyard poetry, The Cure and dreary days that won’t besmirch your sunless, milk-blue skin, here’s something that can help preserve your melancholia: your very own cloud-making machine.
Artist Karolina Sobecka calls her “Cloud Machine” a “personal device for weather modification.” She created it for Blowup: Speculative Realities, an art exhibition in the Netherlands.
The device “consists of cloud-making gear sent up into the atmosphere in a weather-balloon payload,” Sobecka writes on her website. “As it reaches specific altitudes, it disperses Cloud Condensation Nuclei (CCN), heat and water vapor. Moisture in the air condenses into cloud droplets around the CCN, forming into small clouds.”
Although I’d like to think Sobecka came up with her “Cloud Machine” idea while sitting in her bedroom listening to Mazzy Star with the curtains drawn, it turns out her intent was a little more environmentally conscious.
“This method is inspired by a geoengineering technique proposed to create brighter, more reflective clouds which shield Earth from the “sun’s radiation, and thus partly counteract the climate change,” Sobecka wrote.
While the clouds may not be dense and dark enough to make you feel like you’re in INXS’s “Never Tear Us Apart” video, they are, in fact, real clouds, rooted in the geoengineering practice of cloud seeding, which has been around for years.
Credit: Karolina Sobecka