QR Reshaping, C-print, 2003, courtesy of Max Protetch

Quasi-Random (study on Buckminster Fuller’s Cloud Nine project)


Fuller’s proposal is presented as black and white image of the lake surrounded by mountains covered by snow. Among the clouds above the mountains there are two spheres drawn with a mathematical preciseness. The text below the image explains:

Spherical constructions at least 0,6 mile in diameter represent airborne cities, which float high above ground like balloons filled with hot air. City by measuring one mile in diameter with only one degree temperature difference between inside and outside of the sphere would be able to float above the ground together with its few thousands inhabitants and whole infrastructure. It’s all about autonomous, airborne structures and their main task: recycling and maintaining weight. Controlled reproduction and metabolism keep material and social structure in the air.

It seems it’s not so far from Fuller's fantastic idea to the concept of ultimate, total (perhaps totalitarian) structure. Science-fiction thriller, the utopian moment within American dream, concludes with radical concept of the airborne city. One of the answers to Fuller is to return his original idea back to the hands and mind of individual, to start from the bottom up, where metaphorically speaking, one could find his or her own shape, his or her own deformity of the Cloud Nine.


Tobias Putrih