The studio as cloud

June 13, 2014

This paper seeks to consider the topography of the artist’s studio in relation to spatial conceptions of the cloud as an amorphous, virtual entity that exists everywhere and yet is nowhere in particular. Contemporary understandings of the studio are no longer strictly defined by physical dimensions or geographic specificity. Instead, recent incarnations of the studio can operate with ‘seemingly no disciplinary or spatial boundaries whatsoever.’[1]

Current thinking about the contemporary (post-) studio coincides with museological attempts to encapsulate the studios of past eras through posthumous preservation and reconstruction. Such reconstructions dislocate the studio and blur its boundaries with the museum, raising questions as to how the studio might be represented and understood. Similarly, Ann-Sophie Lehmann has observed that the creative spaces of new media practices ‘seem to have caused a dislocation of the materiality of the traditional working space.’[2] The recent proliferation of posthumous studios as museum artifacts invites a reassessment of the artist’s workspace, particularly in light of virtual studios within the immersive and mediated world of emerging technologies that challenge conceptions of the studio as a discrete locus of creative practice.

What are the boundaries of the peripheral and ambient conditions of artistic practice? To what extent is it possible to identify the studio as a site, an object, an experience or a ‘sensorium’? Is the impalpability of the studio peculiar to contemporary practice or is it also attributable to studios of earlier eras? Is the studio a microcosm of practice that can be defined?

[1] Alex Coles, The Transdisciplinary Studio (Berlin: Sternberg Press, 2012), 74.

[2] Ann-Sophie Lehmann, “Hidden practice: Artists’ working spaces, tools, and materials in the digital domain,” in Digital Material: Tracing New Media in Everyday Life and Technology, ed. Marianne van den Boomen et al. (Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press, 2009), 270.



David Eastwood is an artist and academic whose practice is primarily situated within drawing and painting. He works with the interior as a genre through which to reconfigure spatio-temporalities, examining and reevaluating relationships across historical periods and locations. He is currently investigating artists’ studios as sites of immersion and invention, with a particular focus on the recent proliferation of museological reconstructions of deceased artists’ studios. Contextualised within discourses around contemporary studio practices and the post-studio condition of the late-20thcentury, his practice investigates the potential for posthumous studios to operate as virtual, prosthetic studios, re-activated as provocations for contemporary art. He is represented by Robin Gibson Gallery in Sydney, and is a Lecturer at the College of Fine Arts, University of New South Wales, where he is currently also a PhD candidate.