Sherly Fan

Multi-media artist | filmmaker

Cloud Over

Bus stop (Stop ID: 5480) near the Duke Garden at Flower Dr is the station for bus route number 6. This route is one of the only Durham city bus routes that go through the Duke campus. The difference between Durham buses and Duke buses, as well as the difference between the traffic of these bus stations, are something worth paying attention to. The strain that is held on the imaginary border of the Duke campus and the real environment and residents of Durham filters the population and isolates Duke T-shirt-wearing students and those who do not belong. This AR project uses a metaphoric cloud analogy to indicate the inexplicable separation between the Duke campus and the city of Durham.

The location of the bus stop itself also marks a geographical separation between the concentrated and concrete campus and the fantastical garden with wide-open space. In contrast to the highly artifactual campus and garden, this station in between is less taken care of. There is no clear sign for the bus stop, and it is surrounded by unorganized plants. In this case, the bus station not only physically separates the campus and the garden, but it also separates itself from the highly manipulated academic narration, which is also a parallel between the Duke buses and the city buses.

Cloud Over uses AR technology to cast out the “invisible cloud” that is above our heads. The animation of light and dark clouds separating from one unified cloud the user experience directly points to the inexplicable racial separation between the campus and the city. The shape of the cloud is intentionally chosen to be formed by hardened edges polygons rather than soft and smooth textures that are naturally been observed in the cloud. This choice is to emphasize the structural roots of this separation. This project also contains an audio element. It features a recording of a stumbling speaking experience, which highlights the inexplicable façade of the issue and implies the challenging non-spoken status quo.