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Buycloud is an interactive video installation with an attached virtual speculation market and archive.

Buycloud is a research on the transformation of "natural phenomena" to "exploitable resources". A process that carries a story that must be told in relation to the past (colonialism), the present (climate change, corporate landgrabbing), and the future (extraterrestrial occupation).

As a research methodology, I, Noa Jansma, Am selling clouds.


Commodifying Cumulus Cloud Manifesto

The undersigned (herein “Purchaser”) hereby agrees to purchase from the owner (herein “Seller”) the cumulus cloud located at [coordinates], the legal description of which is: [URCLOUD] upon the following terms and conditions:

1. Purchase Price and Conditions of Payment

The purchase price shall be [price in letters], Euros [price in numbers], derived out of the following variables:

A. direction. (N/E/S/W)

B. speed. (km/h)

C. cloudicity. (u)

D. estimated energy. (KJ)

E. temperature. (ºC)

extracted from the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

2. Origin of property

Mining. Following the occupation theory (Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Discourse on Inequality, 1754) and the Doctrine of Discovery (Public International Law, expounded by the United States Supreme Court, 1823) Seller has legitimacy gained ownership over [URCLOUD], by being the first to claim it, and to have communicated this claim with a border. Seller has authorised a trained AI to generate the border. This border has distinguished [URCLOUD] from other cumulus clouds and has distinguished seller from other human and non-human animals.

3. Transfer of property

Unique Registration (herein ‘UR’). Following the Labour theory (John Locke, Two Treatises of Government, 1690) this manifesto follows the statement “To own is to interact”. In line with emerging abstraction of the meaning of interaction in agro-economies, a gaze of the purchaser to [URCLOUD] is a sufficient act to legitimise the first part of the transfer. The happening of the mentioned interaction will be immortalised by a selfie taken by the Purchaser. This data is saved in the cloud and is used, after the money-transfer from Purchaser to Seller, to generate the title deed.

4. Archiving of property.

Universal System (herein ‘US’). The acquirement is formalised and archived in the US to be accessed on https://www.buycloud.space. The US functions according the following paragraphs:

A: Mapped Virtual Cadastre

The deed is archived in a virtual cadastre visualised as by a sky-map. Following the concept of a timestamp used in the Commodities stock market the values of the cloud freeze when purchaser buys the cumulus cloud. Consequently the cumulus cloud will roam around forever in the values purchaser has bought them in (as defined in art. 1). The variables might change when human approaches to possession of the world’s surface and atmosphere will transform from belief in limitless stability to an ownership-fluidity.

B: Dynamics

By entering the US the cumulus cloud infiltrates the capitalistic system. In contrast how Art. 2 describes ownership is gained by being the first, the US now rests its dynamics of being the fittest. When clouds collide the smaller cloud gets eaten by the bigger cloud. The bigger cloud grows and the expense of the smaller cloud. A cloud-monopoly can occur. This dynamic is backed up by the statement ‘All property is theft.’ (Pierre Joseph Proudhon, Qu’est-ce que la propriété? ou Recherche sur le principe du Droit et du Gouvernement, 1840).

5. General Conditions

It is expressly agreed that this manifesto to commodify Cumulus Cloud includes the entire manifesto of Purchaser and Seller. This manifesto shall be binding upon the heirs, personal representatives, successors and assigns of both Purchaser and Seller. Both parties agree to the fact that this manifesto stays in place regardless of historic claims of heritage or future climate, political and/or spiritual changes.

6. Weather Conditions

This manifesto shall be interpreted and enforced in accordance with the laws of physics. Recent studies show with emerging emissions, in only hundred-fifty years clouds won’t be able to manifest themselves anymore. The upcoming scarcity of clouds is predicted to warm up the earth with an extra 8ºC. Weather engineering is expected to be an uprising field with cloud-seeding as one of the most manageable facets of it, a technique where one shoots or seeds chemicals into existing clouds and it will modify their characteristics. The rightful usage of this technique in consideration to [URCLOUD] is further elaborated on in Art. 7 of this agreement.

7. Special Conditions

A. Usage, Commercialisation, Exploitation, Fetishisation of the cumulus cloud

Cumulus clouds are under threats as a natural phenomenon and this creates possibilities for the cumulus cloud to become an exploitable resource. Owning a cumulus cloud will work as a steady and poetic investment by giving Purchaser the right (Right of dispossession, right of control as apart from the Bundle of Rights) to lease [URCLOUD] to future cloud-seeding-companies that will practice cloud-seeding technologies in [URCLOUD] Already using the upcoming scarcity and demand of the phenomenon, the purchaser can financially benefit from climate change. Climate change can be used as a marketing tool and transform [URCLOUD] in a resource that can and should be improved (according to the values of Hugo Grotius, De lure belli ax pacis, On the Law of War and Peace, 1625) by exploitation.

B: Donation

If Purchaser in any moment regrets their role in the infrastructure as described in this agreement, Purchaser can contact Seller (on urcloud@buycloud.space) about it motives. Seller will take back the possession and donate [URCLOUD] to programs fighting cloudloss (By restoring broken sky-rivers caused by deforestation). It will preserve humankind’s shade, though thereby causing future inflation in the cloud-market.

8. Acceptance of manifesto

In witness whereof the parties hereby execute this manifesto to be effective as of the date set forth above,

Noa Jansma, Buycloud

New Property Owner

Signed by certificate.


Project by Noa Jansma, Webdevelopment by Andre Fincato, Interface design by Dominik Vrabič Dežman.

Mine of company Anglo American
Columbus arrives in the so called "New World" - Painting by John Vanderlyn
Photo by Iris Rijskamp
In 1967, 102 countries signed the Outer Space Treaty. A.o. declaring humanity won't declare ownership on space or celestial bodies.
The AI draws borders around the clouds
An AI draws borders around the clouds
Example of the proof of ones ownership. A certificate wherein cloud and human blend together
In his Second Treatise on Government, the philosopher John Locke asked by what right an individual can claim to own one part of the world, when, according to the Bible, God gave the world to all humanity in common. He answered that, although persons belong to God, they own the fruits of their labor. When a person works, that labor enters into the object. Thus, the object becomes the property of that person. I have critique on this philosophy as it does not consider the contribution of Non-human entities that our bringing us the energy for our Labor. Besides, many landowners are not the ones putting in the labor.
A Discourse on Inequality - Jean Jacques Rousseau
Under it, European Christian governments could lay title to non-European territory on the basis that the colonisers travelled and "discovered" said territory. The doctrine has been primarily used to support decisions invalidating or ignoring aboriginal possession of land in favor of modern governments, such as in the 2005 case of Sherrill v. Oneida Nation.
E.x. in March 2017, the Whanganui River in Aotearoa New Zealand was the first river to officially receive the status of a legal person. This legal personhood is based on the ontological understanding of the river as an indivisible and living whole and as the spiritual ancestor of the Whanganui Iwi (a Māori tribe).
the NoDAPL protests in Standing Rock are an example of how contracts are treated as absolute entities, except when power figures don't agree with them anymore.
Silver iodide, the material used in cloud seeding, is toxic to aquatic life. Besides there are no clear predictions what will happen to the climate on a longer timescale. Nevertheless, more and more investments into this technique are emerging.
The Amazon generates “flying rivers” of moisture that cross the continent. Nicholas Reynard/National Geographic
According to the labor theory, who would rightfully own this plot of land?