Cloud study is currently exhibited in Arles for the October Digital festival in Arles!

See the festival website here


Arles – Henri Comte room

Water, a universal and infinite subject, is a source of inspiration for many artists, from the most classical to the most experimental. The exhibit presented offers a series of works exploring questions of fluid, liquid and plasticity. Beyond its symbolic charges, water will sometimes be invested in these works as an activator of the narrative, other times challenged for its plastic issues, or even as an element in its own right of the device.
The digital will explore its turbulences as its evaporations, its flows and its stagnations and will tend to reinforce the emotion and generate new perceptions of these heritage places, true Arles jewels.

cloud study7 drops per inch

A cloud image taken from the painting "Landscape under a turbulent sky", which Vincent van Gogh painted in Arles in April 1889. The image is formed from drops which are composed of dew water collected in a field like the one of the table, during the summer of 2020. The water is viscosified so as not to evaporate. 


Harvesting dew water in the very early morning near the city of Arles, using one of the methods recommended by alchemists. When the atmospheric conditions were met to allow the deposition of dew during the night, the artist Dominique Peysson slid a cotton sheet over the grass and the leaves to impregnate it with this water coming directly from the clouds. 
Alchemists have always favored dew, rather than spring water. For them, this water has special properties: like storm water, it would contain natural “Nitres”, which result from lightning discharges. These compounds recovered in the Dew Salt have a behavior that is not found in the usual chemical products. They are meant to be more dissolvable and less permanent. The alchemists fortify them by exposing them to the light of several successive rising moons, while protecting them from sunlight. After collecting the dew with the help of a sheet, they have to filter it several times in the dark. . It is then kept under cover in terracotta urns, and stored away from light in cellars. This dew water makes it possible to collect the philosophical salt, after several successive stages of evaporation and dissolution. It is a silver-white salt, with small refracting crystals, which can dissolve glass.

Dew sensor
The sheet and the containers having been used by Dominique Peysson to collect dew water in the fields at dawn. 

Photo credit: Thibaud Gilles

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