Sunday, 29 May 2016

Cloudburst

Inspired by a dream and the interactive installation project my students are working on. Picture from the internet, the source is written at the right side or the picture.


They keep falling out of the sky, little buglike creatures. Their half transparent, fist sized bodies land on my balcony and I look at them with amazement and disgust. As soon as they hit the concrete floor they start crawling, like spiders, fist sized spiders. I shiver and start counting their creepy legs, only six, no spiders after all. But what are they? Those jelly, yellowish, sixlegged spidery beings? I’m glad there is a window between us. They keep raining down and crawling all over the building, the streets below must be filled with their small bodies by now, where are the going? And where do they come from?

For a moment I just want to close the curtains, shut them out, pretend they are not here. Nonetheless I just stand there, staring at my balcony, unable to move. Finally I turn around, the dark yellow light from the sky conflicts the blue light emitted by my computer screen, a huge screen taking up almost all the space on the wall opposing my window. Somewhere in the middle the lights meet, enlightening my highly efficient apartment with a sick green color. I try to remember what I was working on earlier, before the bugs started raining down.

Something bangs on my window, I startle, are the bugs coming in? A big moth landed on the window, now looking inside, scanning me. I take a step back, away from the window, back to my computer feeling the urge to do something, although I have no clue what to do. The moth flutters to the balcony and lands between the jellyfish bugs giving me a clear view of its wings. They do not look mothlike at all, not fragile and soft, but hard and scaly. It’s iridescent blue glow reminds me of my computer screen. ‘This is the queen!’ I am quite sure of this, don’t know how, don’t know why. This is the queen, the central brain of the bugs.

A beeping sound enters my mind, small beeps, long and short like a Morse code. Is the queen communicating with me? That sort of makes sense, the light in my rooms starts to pulse together with the sounds, blue again, coming from my screen. I turn around and look at it, look at an image of a luminous creature, pulsing. I never learned Morse code, but my computer translates it. ‘Cloudburst,’ it says. ‘Cloudburst. Cloudburst. Cloudburst.’

Did I do this? I look back at the queen moth, she seems to nod. It is still raining bugs, the moth spreads her wings, shaking the bugs off. I was working, have been working for hours, probably days straight, when all this started to happen, working on something big and complicated. It must have gone wrong. I walk over to my table and hit the ‘escape’ button. ‘Data overload’ appears on my screen. I hit ‘back’. ‘Are you sure you want to upload?’ askes my computer. I choose ‘No’.

The sky lightens up, the queen moth starts to shimmer, spreading her wings and flying away. Even before she has flown out of sight her image is gone, and so have the bugs. So this is what it looks like. I have been warned about it, the risk of causing a cloudburst while working on this project. Never imaged it to be like this. Time to turn the computer off, I need a break.

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