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Whispering Clouds shortlisted

Two (or more) massive stunning clouds hang over the city – lighting up and displaying people’s messages they encourage participants to play and connect. Hanging over the cities public spaces: pedestrian streets, in alleyways, or in open spaces these beautiful, colourful clouds invite people to send messages to each other via the clouds. The project explores the power of sharing and how we socially connect through play. Whispering Clouds does not judge you; rather it asks you to play, to share, and to contemplate how we can communicate in new ways in the city, digitally and physically – connecting with each other across communities. The project combines technology, sculpture, text and light playing with the concept of cloud computing. It is a playful physical manifestation of the digital cloud, but it is also the dream of clouds and happiness; lying on our back, watching the clouds drift by. Clouds allow us to dream and invite us to see the world in new ways.
The interaction of multiple clouds as a message system allows participants to play together. People can see messages from other people around the city and send messages back from below the clouds. Whispering Clouds is an open canvas that will be filled with people’s messages, stories and secrets. At specific days and times there will be the content will be curated in order to achieve the most impact, for example a family friendly word game, quotes, an ‘after the watershed’ hour where there are no moderation, or interviews via the cloud with cloud guests. The project will generate feelings of curiosity; asking questions that are answered by the cloud around the corner (or the cloud hanging over another community), as well as playfulness; sending love declarations, telling silly messages, lying, playing with the cloud system (gaming the game).

These visually stunning clouds are a permission to play – they are a physical invitation to digitally connect. Sharing is a deep human need, illustrated in many cultural traditions. This desire to share our lives is increasing played out digitally online, driven by new technologies. Whispering Clouds explores how the power of sharing can become physically visible and playable in the city. It investigates how we can create new ways of connecting in public places and explores new forms of information sharing in the city. Play is an essential pre-condition for the emergence of possibilities and, as such, it is the flexible structure by which meaningful interaction can arise.

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