Cloud Cover
Flint Public Art Project | Flat Lot Competition, 2013

Project Team:
El Hadi Jazairy + Rania Ghosn + Aziza Chaouni
Dorin Baul, Chris Reznich, Mathew Dolan

Cloud Cover renders Flint Flat Lot a piece of aerial public art visible from Google earth. The cloud’s volume is formed by the aggregation of 729 biodegradable latex weather balloons tethered to division lines on the parking lot. In the logic of a tangram, the set of balloons are put together to form different shapes.

The cloud canopy has minimal necessary structure. Its simple assembly is designed for local volunteers to weave the rope grid in one day. Hovering above the lot, the canopy builds a microclimate that reduces the urban heat island effect for summer events. Local nurseries and greenhouses will contribute plants and trees for the period of the installation to further improve air quality. The furniture is made of recycled palettes transformed into rolling furniture: partitions, seats, stands, and planters. The structure-free ground plan allows flexible and adaptive arrangement of furniture: they will be deployed for the events and stacked up in pyramids to allow the regular use of the parking lot on other days.

At the end of the season, helium is put back to bottles. The balloons will be flattened into triangular-shaped panels, recycled into souvenir shoulder bags, and sold by local retailers as well as cultural institutions in Michigan. In its afterlife, the Cloud Cover, like pieces of the Berlin Wall, will carry Flint’s environmentalist icon to the world.