A few onlookers hold their collective breath as Berndnaut Smilde pushes a remote control button to activate a smoke machine in the Green Room of the Veterans Building in downtown San Francisco. Billowing smoke forms a luscious, cotton candy-like mass before it vaporizes into haze, casting a luminous complexion on the room. The Avant/Garde Diaries met the Dutch artist whos work is defined by ephemerality, his delicate installations exist for a brief moment before they fall apart, often their only documentation in the form of a photograph. ‘It’s not so much about the shape of the cloud but about placing it out of its natural context,’ Smilde says.
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