In 2011, Maxime Berthou released 15 kilograms of silver iodine in the atmosphere above the border between Canada and the United States.

Paparuda, 14 minutes, digital cinema, Maxime Berthou 2011

The performance took place at Saint Honoré de Chicoutimi, which corresponds to the zone where the first geo-engineering manipulation in history took place in 1946, when Kurt Herbert spread into the a similar quantity of silver iodine in the American airspace.  The goal was to respond to the brutal drought that was hitting the North East of the US.  In consequence, the rain heavy clouds that were on their way to Canada never benefited the Canadian soil.  This became a geo-political incident, as Canada decided to turn to the UN and its own government to provide a legal framework for this seemingly terrifying new technology.

Because the legal framework in place is so arcane, it was impossible for Berthou to obtain proper permits to go through with his perfomance.  He nevertheless decided to push forward, and on June 7th 2011, at 48.52 degrees north, 71.05 degrees west, and 232 meters high, 7 balloons, each carrying about 2 kilograms of silver iodine, were released under a cumulus semi-congestus, following a corridor created by the Saguenay fjord, which led them straight to the US border.

Paparuda, 14 minutes, digital cinema, Maxime Berthou 2011

3 years of project development have allowed Berthou to discover that clouds – with icebergs- are the latest drinking water only with no legal status. Fabienne Quilleret-Majzoub seems alone addressed the issue by proposing, as part of his work as a researcher in a laboratory of Philosophy and Justice, a legal form for clouds. A logical continuation of the project would be to reactivate this proposal and propose it to be adopted by the European Parliament. Thus a purely artistic project based on a historical and geopolitics event have found its form and development in the context of the sciences before walking the fields of humanities to finish on a concrete and useful act.

Paparuda, 14 minutes, digital cinema, Maxime Berthou 2011