This installation first started off in my bedroom in college. I was in my junior year and being at this school was especially challenging for me. I suffer from a blood disorder called Sickle Cell Anemia and a lot of the times that I am sick , I end up having to spend indoors. The weather can specifically trigger some of the attacks that I have from my disease. If it is too cold or too hot, it can offset my blood circulation, my body has to work harder because of my C shaped cells.
Because I have to be indoors a lot of the time, I take interest in what surrounds me. I try to make my living space as enjoyable or tranquil as possible despite my condition. So I started off with balloons, it seems silly but balloons make me feel festive. I filled my room with clear balloons. It took my mind from the obvious and lightened my mood at times that I felt most isolated.
Over the course of a few weeks, I decided to start making clouds. I already had experience from making clouds in high school from simple craft projects I would watch on youtube. I made six clouds and hung them in my room. I wanted to get the feel that I was outside, I wanted to project the weather that I felt most like myself in, weather that was better for my blood disorder.
I eventually moved my installation to the living room where the rest of my roommates could interact with it. It was sort of a social experiment to see how they felt after a while. I would sit in the living room most days during the winter and pretend to be doing some work. After a few weeks they began inviting their friends over. People would sit in the balloons and touch the clouds and take pictures. It made me feel good to see the light in their day, at a time when the weather made most of us feel melancholic.
This installation helped expose my own truth with my discomfort with my disease in the way that it causes isolation and depression. I knew I wanted a change of scenery and I made that not only for myself but others surrounding me that experience their own type of ailments whether physical or mental.
To top it off I did even more research on the way that weather is observed and found the famous invention called the “Weather Balloon” made by a well known meteorologist named Leon Teisserenc de Bort. Essentially what the weather balloon does is it collects measurements of temperature, atmospheric pressure and humidity when it is sent into the atmosphere, then it transmits information on the weather for surface observation.
Calvin, Carlye. "Altocumulus Clouds." Altocumulus Clouds | UCAR Center for Science Education. Accessed March 16, 2018. https://scied.ucar.edu/imagecontent/altocumulus-clouds.