D e b  T o d d  W h e e l e r

...in the atmospheres

Floater Fields


Irene's relics

Fjordal Visions

Factory Clouds (black)

Factory Clouds (pink)


above image: Factory Clouds 99 images printed on aluminum, installation various dimensions

  Warm wet air rises and cools. Water vapor condenses. This is what makes a cloud. I’m walking around the city these days looking for just the right kind of clouds: the consistent ones. One of my kids is in trouble at school today. The accusation: his head is in the clouds. Lucky kid. I'm called in to school to help figure out how to get it down. But how can I help? I'm busy working, trying to get my head INTO the clouds! Billowy, wondrous, constantly changing shape and form… when I was a kid I thought angels lived in the clouds. I'm wondering what exactly is in my clouds, the ones I’m hunting, these filthy emissions of human productivity. Bhopal. Fukushima. Chernobyl. I remember the day in 1986 when the Chernobyl nuclear reactor exploded in the Ukraine. Everyone was talking about the unthinkable disaster, and how long it would take the giant toxic cloud to reach us in Strasbourg, France. For weeks, and then months we all looked up at the sky with distrust. Looked at the fruit grown in Germany and points east, and wondered what had rained on it, and if we were eating little bits of Chernobyl fallout. Making things requires such energy. Personal energy. Manufactured energy. We suck it up, exert, and then blow off some steam. Steam filled with residue, real residue, emotional residue, curse words flung out in moments of hot headedness, rise and cool down, raining complex mixtures of the useful and the discarded that now live with us in our bodies, absorbed and assimilated while we daydream and drink lots of water, take deep breaths, remain calm. On cold days such as these we speak into the air and steamy clouds form from our lips and rise out over our heads, dissipate into the air.