Clouds: a documentary about code and culture – An update


Following the release of their pilot version of the project, the Clouds team now want to produce the documentary in an interactive environment:

“The CLOUDS experience is generated from a database of richly tagged interviews. For you, the viewer, the story begins with your curiosity. You input a question or search term as the starting point, setting the initial trajectory. Just as an everyday conversation will often flow through series of digressions, each subject you encounter offers branching paths to unexplored regions of the video collection. A unique narrative experience is generated just for you. You can sit back and watch the story conversation unfold, or let your interaction with the system guide you toward surprising outcomes.”

They’re looking for $25,000 through Kickstarter to fund the project and allow for collaboration with coders and digital media artists. If you’re interested in helping them do this, visit their Kickstarter page to find out more and donate.

Published: Jun 21, 2012

I stumbled across this promo video via Twitter (of course) and it’s one of the most intriguing things i’ve seen in a long time. It’s a documentary by Jonathan Minard ( and James George (, that features hackers and media artists talking about code and culture . I also recommend you full screen the video, as the graphics are pretty awesome.

Clouds: beta from DEEPSPEED media on Vimeo.

I would try and write up what it’s all about but it’s pretty complex and they’ve already done a brilliant job of describing it on te DEEP SPEED media site so here it is:

[quote] Clouds features prominent and emerging computer hackers, media artists, and critics talking about the creative use of code, the future of data, interfaces, and computational visuals. It is presented as a series of conversational vignettes centered around thematic topics. The subjects of the film float in a black void, their figures composed of tiny points connected by lines that flicker and break apart at the edges. They’re made out of pure computational matter — the same class of material the artist depicted work with on a daily basis. The entire film is shot using a DSLR attached to a Microsoft Kinect sensor and rendered using our open source editing suite The RGBDToolkit.
The Clouds video is a step along the longer path for this concept. We are continuing to chase the idea of creating an ‘infinite conversation’ in form of an interactive application to navigate clouds of related dialog. The final instance of the documentary, the user will send a query resulting in a stream of figurative points clouds speaking to the subject. We imagine this working in a real time environment where the viewer can control the camera and choose who to listen to by flying through space virtually.
This is a preview of a feature production to be released in July with support from the Studio for Creative Inquiry.