clouds are 9m2

clouds are 9m2 is a project which explores the existence of the self when reduced to virtual dimensions during the covid-19 pandemic and the ways in being confined to our homes blurred the distinctions between online and offline space. other themes explored are: the watched virtual self (by oneself and by others), heightened health anxieties, and connections / disconnections.


this project was born out of living in 9m2 studio in paris during the first and most severe lockdown period. after living alone in such small quarters for 23 hours each day (being permitted to spend 1 hour a day outside), i noticed how existence had been largely reduced to an oscillating act between different applications / phone / laptop / tablet rather than different lived spaces.


please wash your hands before entering. 


lockdown has reinvented our concept of space and the way in which we occupy ‘inside’ and ‘outside’ worlds, with the two now more segregated than ever.

we expand in the inside world: angling spines in different positions against walls, bed, floor. we dangle arms from windows as 5pm light begins to wilt. we prove existence to ourselves by muttering thoughts aloud and rehearsing lines for candid instagram stories and jangling languid limbs as we learn tiktok dances before motionless white walls.

outside, we shrink: zig-zagging across pavements to avoid inhaling breath, of joggers, dog-walkers, any exhaling thing. air was just noiseless particles until we feared it. our movement is hesitant and we creep between supermarket aisles. bonjour’s and merci’s are hushed (less breath is exerted this way).


inside and outside are no longer one entity of the same existence, in which we seamlessly flutter between, but rather spaces that we consciously enter and leave, signed declaration slips in hand. front doors are shut and handles wiped down and taps carefully pulled and pressed using wrists and renditions of happy birthday to you happy birthday to you happy birthday over and over until the skin between knuckles is raw and scaly. we go to sleep and repeat. happy birthday to you. hands. missed calls. tapping. dreams that sound like the noise trees make when they brush against each other on spring mornings.

as our concept of space has changed, the self has changed with it. and so we are melding the disembodied inside / outside parts of ourselves, to form something that can co-exist between the two in these unprecedented times™.


and so we live in the clouds. reverie in white: our gateway from inside to outside, as they / we buoyantly drift between days. their changing shapes alter where shadows / light collapses / settles; makes same walls different. from behind thin glass, there is no proof that we are not being carried along with sky, living in sky. with feet tucked on windowsills, clouds allow inner children to daydream, to draw outlines of animals with fingers pointed upwards, to close eyes and imagine what grass will feel like when it gets stuck in the crevices behind the backs of legs, sprawled out under (cloudless) skies as a friend tells a story from less than 2 metres away, and your knees might bash together, and a friend of a friend sits beside you, and they are sitting so close that you can feel the texture of their words on your cheek (linen, air-dried from july afternoons) and everyone is exchanging fabrics / touch / air and that doesn’t bother you in the slightest. exhale.


and so we live in the clouds. you know, like the iCloud. virtual space. blue birds tweeting among a stream of clouds. IN THESE UNPRECEDENTED / i’m a SAVAGE / #clapfortheNHS / #clapforboris / #fuckboris / what’s happening / send / decline call / stream / cancel / RENEGADE RENEGADE / important information regarding your upcoming trip / Shakespeare wrote King Lear in / shut the fuck up / monday? / sunday? / day? / night. / delete / upload / upload / upload / scroll / tap / close / open / close / classy / bougie / ratchet.


clouds are clouds, whether they’re in the sky or on our lap. by living in these clouds, we are able to harmoniously be at once both expanded and contracted. the two forms have become so indistinguishable from one another that we inhabit / become our living spaces / everything within / clouds now.

people say it’s hard to gauge the size of a cloud. while i may not be good at science, i know how to exist in this tiny room on the 5th floor / in the white screens / in sky. for now my cloud / i / parameters of existence / is / am / are all that fits in my space, all 9m2 of it.

i open the windows / laptop and the clouds join me and i join them.



although the internet has already been established as a popular means of communication, it mostly existed in tandem with ‘real life,’ rarely surpassing an already established foreground of physical touch and unplanned interactions with strangers.

as such, the internet now takes centre-stage as sky, in which we are all nonchalantly passing through in a cloud-like existence, numbing the TV static feeling of knowing that a global pandemic is shrilling around us. with clouds from windows reflecting on our phone screens, the lines between ‘inside’ and ‘outside’ worlds are stark, meanwhile online and offline selves are fusing together in a manner that is more remarkable than ever before.

* photo’s were taken in my 9m2 studio during france’s lockdown period (march 13th - may 11th).

all added materials (texts, google searches, notes, voice notes) are REAL extracts from conversations i had / google searches / notes i had written throughout lockdown. they were not written for ‘art’ purposes, nor were they pre-planned in any way, shape, or form - if they were, i would have definitely said much more interesting things.

peace and stay safe.
(since release, this project has been mentioned here and here)