Clouds is a photo essay that documents the self-storage industry as cloud storage for domestic objects. If today’s digital clouds provide data storage with remote servers, then what are self-storage facilities but the analog clouds for our physical homes? As a critique of the contemporary aestheticization of data centers and of consumer relationships with objects, Clouds portrays storage space as the embodiment of excess brought on by industrialization and capitalism. Even as economies weaken, mass-production and mass-consumption persists. Homes are busting at the seams, spilling over into self-storage units located at the periphery of towns and cities, where possessions and clutter can exist at the back of our minds into this forgotten space. These photographs expose this marginalized space as a site of architecture, the epitome of standardization, a kit-of-parts, itself a product of mass-production.
The images were originally presented in a group exhibition accompanied by a talk at the University of Michigan’s Taubman College Gallery, March-April 2014. In November 2014, a selection of the images along with some text were published by Columbia University’s online ARPA Journal as a digital photo essay.