Cargo of Clouds

January 11th, 2022 § 0 comments

Installation for 3 screens and quadrophonic sound (2021)


Data seems free flowing and immaterial yet it is embedded in our physical world and has an immense impact on our environment. Data has become an indispensable tool for the circulation of goods world-wide and huge physical systems are activated when we use it. As individuals using data in our daily lives, we participate in highly complex, compartimentalized systems that are difficult to comprehend. Cargo of Clouds, by Isabelle Vigier and Anne La Berge reflects on this urgent topic.

Research on data centers and data farm locations around the globe shows that the data industry is tightly connected to the existing infrastructures of industry and commercial transport. The artists Anne La Berge and Isabelle Vigier have based Cargo of Clouds in the port of Venlo in the Netherlands, one of the important ports in Europe where large amounts of goods are transported daily in connection with the word-wide network of commerce and industry. Around the city of Venlo, like everywhere around Europe, historically agricultural landscapes are being reclaimed to make way for huge zones dedicated to the ever-growing infrastuctures of capitalism.

In Cargo of Clouds, the artists present an ambivalent image of a landscape that is the product of a society highly dependent on data, and deeply materialistic. Central to the story is the question of our involvement as individuals in systems that we do not control or comprehend, but that have a profound impact on the world, and nature around us.

Stills from the 3 screens


The installation with 3 screens and quadrophonic sound combines powerful visual and sonic images. The total sequence of 15 minutes is looped, so that the projection is on-going. The arrangement in the exhibition space allows for the public to circulate amidst the work, and take in the relationships between images, sound and space. Visitors may come and go at any time.


In the video tryptich, a character (dancer Valentina Campora) finds herself lost in industrial spaces, whereas in reality, the industrial zone is strictly forbidden for pedestrians. It is as if she has been transported from her personal screen, her interface with the world, into the high security apparatus that is hiding behind it. She has landed into a world on a non-human scale as a contemporary Alice in Wonderland. Meanwhile, containers are being shifted by cranes, moving weightlessly against the sky in a never-ending cycle. The quadrophonic sound creates a larger than life impression where nature and machine sounds co-exist.

Impression of the installation

Cargo of Clouds By Isabelle Vigier and Anne La Berge was filmed on location at the industrial port of Venlo, NL. It was produced by the artists with the Volsap Foundation. The project was made with the assistance of a powerful team of the artists’ choice: sound designer Alex Booy, drone camera operator and technician Paul Beumer, dancer Valentina Campora and code developer Timo Hoogland.

Cargo of Clouds was made with generous support from Stimulerings Fonds, Prins Bernhard Fonds, Fonds Podium Kunsten, Norma Fonds. We also benefited from a residence with Intro InSitu, in Maastricht, and practical assistance from Splendor, Amsterdam. We are grateful for their support.

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