Aristotle reasoned that imitation forms the basis of art, and that art imitates nature — some works perhaps more literally than others. Portraying the power, mystery, and grandeur of weather, in particular, has long been a curious obsession of landscape artists brave enough to bear the elements. After all, it’s not easy to capture the immensity of a snow squall or a summer electrical storm.
But art has come quite a long way since the days of picturesque nature paintings, such as Thomas Cole’s dramatic thunderstorm rolling across a somewhat exaggerated Connecticut River Valley. As far as aesthetic subject matters go, weather is just begging for interactivity, some movement and spectacle that don’t just portray the elements, but actually imitate them. These brilliant contemporary art installations prove that there’s more than one way for art to harness the power of Mother Nature.
Symphony in D Minor: An indoor thunderstorm
Photos via It’s Nice That
Symphony in D Minor is an awesome set of interactive hanging sculptures by Patrick Gallagher and Chris Klapper, currently on display at 2424 Studios in Philadelphia. Using video and sound, the hanging cylinders respond to movement, intensifying the effects of heavy rain, lightning, and thunder as the audience leaps and flails beneath.