Photo: Alexis Mark

Cloud Behavior

Artist’s book (2020)
English text, 144 pages, 24×29 cm
Edition: 900 copies
Text: Nanna Debois Buhl, Dehlia Hannah, Jan Olaf Härter,
Ida Marie Hede, and Andrea Fjordside Pontoppidan
Design: Alexis Mark
Published by Laboratory for Aesthetics and Ecology
and Humboldt Books
Buy online

Nanna Debois Buhl’s artist’s book Cloud Behavior is a study of clouds through photographs and drawings, essays, and interviews. During summer 2018, Buhl photographed clouds on medium-format film and experimented with the images in the darkroom. Buhl’s cloud photographs connect to historical thinking about clouds, to scientific research on cloud behaviour, and to the mystical and meteorological contemplation of clouds by August Strindberg.

Today, climate researchers study cloud behavior to understand how global warming affects the movements of clouds and how, conversely, the movements of clouds might affect global warming. Strindberg and climate researchers share an interest in reading signs and omens in the clouds—and do so with the aid of photography and other means of visualization.

This connection is unfolded in various ways in the texts of the book: In a text collage by Ida Marie Hede and Nanna Debois Buhl, three fictive characters photograph clouds and speculate about their movements. In their essays, philosopher Dehlia Hannah and literary scholar Andrea Fjordside Pontoppidan connect Nanna Debois Buhl’s cloud studies with philosophical, scientific and literary contemplations of clouds. And in a conversation between physicist Jan Olaf Härter and Nanna Debois Buhl, they discuss thunderclouds and their possible impact on the future climate. The texts are accompanied by pencil drawings, computer simulations and mythological depictions of clouds. Cloud Behavior thus forms a polyphonic narrative of clouds across disciplines and time periods.

Realized with generous support from the Novo Nordisk Foundation, the New Carlsberg Foundation and the Beckett Foundation.