Troika Cloud

'Cloud' - Heathrow Terminal 5, London Flipdots, aluminium, custom electronics - 200cm (W) x 500cm (L) x 100cm (H)

‘Cloud’ is a five meter long digital sculpture whose surface is covered with 4638 flip-dots that can be individually addressed by a computer to animate the entire skin of the sculpture.

Flip-dots were conventionally used in the 70s and 80s to create signs in train-stations and airports.

By audibly flipping between black and silver, the flip-dots create mesmerizing waves as they chase across the surface of ‘Cloud’ transforming the mechanical mass is into an organic form that appears to come alive.

Those signs, with their characteristic flicking noise that instantly invokes the idea of travel, represent to us a golden age of technology when analogue and digital started to merge.

The dots that flip from one side to the other with an electric impulse have a physical materiality that more modern technologies often lack, being de-materialised into the virtual.

Credits and acknowledgements:

‘Cloud’ was commissioned by Artwise Curators.

The sculpture is located in Terminal 5 in the atrium hall that leads to the British Airways First Class Lounges.

The project took 8 months in development, production and installation. We would like to thank British Airways and Artwise Curators for giving us the opportunity to create our most ambitious work to date, Mike Smith Studio for the manufacturing of the sculpture, Pharos Architectural Controls, and Alternative Access for the installation.

Text taken from

‘Cloud’ by Troika, 2008 from Troika on Vimeo.


Leave a Reply