When viewing (usually photographic) evidence of Dutch artist Berndnaut Smilde‘s fantastical cloud works, the first question is usually: “Is it real?”
Yes, it’s actually a small, perfect indoor cloud.
The next question you might have is “How?” The answer is shrouded in Smilde’s process, which requires deftly precise observations of humidity, temperature, air movement and lighting. Existing for just one perfect moment, then slipping away, his clouds are carefully documented via photograph, but in the video above—the viewer gets a glimpse at the cloud-making event, narrated by the artist. The strange, beautiful creations appear and fades, serving as both a physical phenomena and a lilting metaphor for grasping at the ephemeral.