Project 29

Cloud Cover

Cloud Cover is a series of programs that activate the North through the digital, wireless and virtual. A “cloud” is a communications network. The word "cloud" often refers to the Internet, and more precisely to some datacenter full of servers that is connected to the Internet. The term "cloud computing" refers to the services that have enabled the Internet cloud to become so prominent in everyday life.

It is notable that the word is a reference to nature, as today “wilderness” is a romantic term, as we look at overpopulation, climate change, extinctions, and the ability of technology to replace things that were previously considered to be the territory of the living. Are nature’s clouds being replaced by a virtual, re-created landscape? With the degradation of the environment, do we need technology to create a new nature?

Clouds are important to the Arctic climate because they trap warm temperatures and reflect sunlight in spring and summer. There has been a nearly linear increase in the cloud cover over the central Arctic in the previous two decades. Changes in the Arctic cloud cover present uncertainties in understanding Arctic climate.

The Anchorage Museum’s Cloud Cover program looks at the profound impact that the introduction of a single, critical technological innovation can have on society and will highlight innovative technologies that address critical issues that affect the lifeways of the north and technologies that increase human connections rather than replace them. We look at how technology can improve peoples’ ability to adapt rather than hinder their adaptive capacity. We will celebrate the degree to which people are resilient in the face of change.

A special youth component of Cloud Cover works with the Digital Generation and includes education challenges.