The Gathering Cloud

J. R. Carpenter

“…a poetic media meteorology: it shows the multiplicity of ways of writing about the sky, the digital cloud, and the climate changes that we are living through…”

ISBN 978 1 910010 15 0
112pp, 234 x 142
paperback with flaps
2017, £12.00
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Reviews and articles

“Every sentence… is as resonant and expansive as its title. The work is so full of meaning, in fact, that it pushes beyond its own borders.”
Mary Paterson, Furtherfield

“…part of a newly emerging canon of art and science creations that help reshape the fundamental unity of the humanities.”
Jan Baetens, Cultural Studies Leuven

“By gathering together histories and theories on the ‘cloud’ in all its duality, and, in the process, dissolving that duality, Carpenter founds a whole new discipline. If Cloud Studies takes off, here is its primer.”
Ryan Ormonde, Sabotage Reviews

“…this book represents the kind of rewarding hybridity in writing and concepts that we’d expect much more often in contemporaneity.”

“What makes The Gathering Cloud such an interesting, rewarding and valuable book is its skilful and creative reading of the cultural, environmental, and technological patterns that have given rise to the digital cloud, and which it now shapes in turn.”
Brian Lewis, ‘Rain, Steam and Speed’, Longbarrow

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The Gathering Cloud collates research into the history and language of meteorology with current thinking about data storage and climate change. Archival material from the Met Office Archive and Library in Exeter has been studied and sifted, along with classical, medieval, and Victorian sources, including, in particular, Luke Howard’s classic essay On the Modifications of Clouds, first published in 1803.

This research material is presented as a sequence of texts and images, acting both as a primer to the ideas behind the project and as a document of its movement between formats, from the data centre to the illuminated screen, from the live performance to the printed page. In his foreword media theorist Jussi Parikka describes the work as “a series of material transformations made visible through a media history executed as digital collage and print publication, hendecasyllabic verse, and critical essay”.

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With a foreword by Jussi Parikka and an afterword by Lisa Robertson.
Thirty-two photographic illustrations, and seven digital collages.


J. R. Carpenter is an award-winning artist, writer, performer, and independent researcher working in the intersecting fields of performance writing, digital literature, and media archaeology. Her web-based works have been exhibited, published, performed, and presented in journals, galleries, museums, and festivals around the world. She is a Fellow of the Eccles Centre For North American Studies at the British Library and a member of the Scientific Committee of Labex Arts-H2H, University Paris 8. She lives in Plymouth, UK.