Vik Muniz, Diaspora Cloud, 2017. Nylon and polyester poplin, hand appliqué.
Vik Muniz’s Diaspora Cloud is a flag that shows an image of a white cloud afloat in a bright blue sky. In both title and image Diaspora Cloud celebrates diversity, community, and ephemerality. Created as part of Creative Time’s Pledges of Allegiance in 2017, Muniz’s flag was one of sixteen flags commissioned over the course of a year and a half that were flown simultaneously at nineteen locations across the United States. Diaspora Cloud also references a related public art project by Muniz that was commissioned by Creative Time in 2001. To create this first Diaspora Cloud, the artist had specially trained pilots “draw” clouds over the Manhattan skyline with a modified crop-dusting airplane. The clouds, like images themselves, were ephemeral, and dispersed through space and time. Flying over 21c Durham, Diaspora Cloud both pays homage to generations who have been displaced and dispersed geographically and temporally, and suggests a hope for connection and community within a diverse global population.