Cloud Ear is a San Francisco-based partnership between Kristina Larsen and Sebastian Martin devoted to exploring the intersections of education, art, and science.
Borrowing from those fields, we develop tools to investigate and better understand the world and create opportunities for others to share in our discoveries.
We are driven by curiosity and inspired by nature. Our combined experience includes teaching, painting, sculpture, 3D design, drawing, digital fabrication, scientific research, project management, and developing museum exhibits. We have drawn these strands together to form a collaborative practice rooted in investigations of people's relationships to the natural world.
We are currently experimenting with connecting subjective personal observation to formal data collection and visualization practices, and are continuously striving to expand our repertoire of techniques and materials.
I grew up in a small town in Southern Germany with a rich tradition in toy making. Tinkering and playing in the Exploratorium’s Learning Studio takes me back to the great times I had as a kid, inventing toys and games in my granddad’s toy workshop. In the 15 years between my early tinkering days and my arrival at the Exploratorium, I studied earthquakes in the Chilean Andes, satellite imaging in the boreal forests of Ontario, and Physics and Math in Erlangen, Germany. Throughout my studies and travels I became more and more fascinated with the creative and playful aspects of the natural sciences. When I came to San Francisco in 2005, I found a happy symbiosis between teaching, experimenting, and making art at the Exploratorium.
All materials have unique characteristics; I make things in order to discover those properties and find inspiration in pursuit of their expression. I trained as a painter and sculptor at Hampshire College in Amherst, Massachusetts, but my interests now range from traditional techniques like weaving and ceramics to contemporary digital and CNC fabrication processes.
I'm an inveterate generalist who delights in the company of specialists of any kind, and am particularly inspired by those with expertise in the natural and physical sciences, design, history, and geography. I'm always absorbing new information to deploy later in different combinations and new contexts. In the past I’ve used various themes as frameworks for structuring creative explorations, and recently I've been using time-based and geospatial data to support investigations into technologies and techniques, incorporating traditional craft materials in contrast to these contemporary processes.