The Golden Spike

June 30 -  September 6

Cloud proudly presents 'The Golden Spike' curated by Daniel Cavey and Anthony Stellaccio.

- A Global Boundary Stratotype Section and Point [The Golden Spike]: an internationally recognized marker for a new stage on the geologic time scale. Such a point now demarcates the Anthropocene, a new period in our planet’s history defined by the impact of human beings.

Four artists from three countries in numerous media explore this phenomenon at Cloud Gallery in Amsterdam, coming to terms with both our recent past and our self-imposed future.

participating artists

Brunivo Buttarelli
Anita Manshanden
Anton Reijnders
Mireille Vautier


Curatorial Statement

A Global Boundary Stratotype Section and Point, abbreviated GSSP, is an internationally agreed upon reference point that defines the beginning of a stage on the geologic time scale. GSSP’s are also referred to as golden spikes.

In consideration of the ubiquitous effects of humanity upon the Earth, the necessity of marking the beginning of a new geological age is currently under heavy debate. This new golden spike, once set, will mark the transition from the Halocene, the epoch in which we are living, to that of the Anthropocene: The Age of Man. This pivotal development in geologic history will take into full account the anthropogenic alterations of our global environment and recognize human beings as a geophysical force. While the total impact that this redefinition of humankind will have is difficult to predict, there will undoubtedly be tidal cultural reverberations, for which we can look most immediately to that fundamentally human enterprise called art.

In the exhibition titled The Golden Spike, taking place at Cloud Gallery in Amsterdam in July, 2017, four  European artists will explore themes related to the Anthropocene. These themes include: extinction and the generation of new life within the current ecological crisis (Brunivo Buttarelli, Italy); the homogenization of earth’s biota through globalization and the genetic modification of plant life (Anita Manshanden, Holland), and; the relationship between resources, waste, refuse, and recycling, and, encapsulating these three (Mireille Vautier, France). Encapsulating these three themes is the overarching examination of control and results, cause and effect, and collective sensibilities that is taken on by Dutch artist Anton Reijnders in his ceramic sculpture. By exploring these themes, The Golden Spike makes broad inferences about the current global crisis as a whole, questioning collective sensibilities concerning the collateral reverberations of our self-modified environment and the fluctuating sociopolitical conditions that directly influence the intensity of our global alterations.

Brunivo Buttarelli (Italy)

Extinction and the generation of new life within the current ecological crisis

Spherical carbonaceous fly ash (a byproduct of industrial fossil fuel combustion) found in sediments and glacial ice across the globe is one of the proposed GSSP markers (A Golden Spike). From The Industrial Revolution to The Great Acceleration, the exponential increase in population leads to excessive demands for fossil fuels. To date, human activity in this regard is responsible for releasing one billion metric tons of carbon in to the atmosphere, conceivably delaying the Earth’s next glaciation. The carbon surplus is responsible as well for increasing ocean water acidity at a rate not exceeded in the last 300 million years, thereby disrupting long established marine ecosystems. Concurrently, there has been a fundamental alteration of the global nitrogen cycle through the conversion of atmospheric nitrogen to ammonia for fertilizers (Haber-Bosch synthesis). The appropriation of forested areas for agriculture contributes to global warming and our agricultural activities appropriate 25-38% net primary productivity (energy made available through photosynthesis) for human use, thus reducing the amount available for millions of other species. All this coupled with target hunting and the harvesting of large bodied species from land and ocean has resulted in species extinctions some 100 to 1000 times higher than natural rates. These statistics constitute Earth’s sixth mass extinction. Reflections on this ecological crisis and the paradoxical recognition of new opportunities for life within it are evident in the multi-media sculpture of Brunivo Buttarelli. 

Anita Manshanden (The Netherlands)

The homogenization of earth’s biota through globalization and the genetic modification of life.

In the wake of progress, commerce, and transportation, we are experiencing a global homogenization of Earth’s biota: Trees in the forests that surround us are no longer casual but the result of centuries of selective cutting to meet the needs and standards of numerous societies. And the same applies to the selective breeding of animals and the reintroduction or eradication of certain wild species. Additionally, man’s agricultural activities (including the use of pesticides), the development of genetically engineered organisms and antibiotics, and unprecedented exchanges of crops, livestock, and their accompanying pathogens from one continent to another are recognized as factors that will likely alter evolutionary outcomes just as they have already resulted in new hybrid species. Human beings have become the creators of bio-cultural environments and with the development of the market economy have diversified once-traditional biotopes. Within the conceptual frame provided by this exhibition, Anita Manshanden’s complex, imaginary flora is emblematic of the industry and imagination that have given us the power to create environments and organisms.


Anton Reijnders (The Netherlands)

Collective Sensibilities

The intent of the exhibition, The Golden Spike, is activist in nature, its central purpose being to raise awareness of certain issues that characterize the Age of Man and which impact our lives now, and will continue to do so in powerful ways in the near future. The very idea of an Age of Man centers on the fact that human beings have a unique power to shape their environment yet are only now coming to grips with the responsibility that must be exercised to prevent those powers from becoming irreversibly self-destructive. This is part of the human riddle: only humanity has the power to change human behavior for humanity’s sake. While not concerned with any particular theme, Anton Reijnders’ artwork has long been a study of the human fixation on control and results, cause and effect, and collective sensibilities that has brought us, over and over again, to dangerous precipices.


Mireille Vautier (France)

The age of plastics: refuse and recycling

Plastic production “rapidly grew from the 1950s to an annual production of about ~300 Tg (300,000,000 metric tons) in 2013, comparable to the present human biomass.” Plastics collect in lakes and oceans, being widespread in shallow and deep-water marine sediments. Macroscopic plastic fragments, or beads and fibers, will leave an identifiable record in rock strata. These “technofossils” will help date geological deposits in the future, while their impact on the current, living environment will remain. Artist Mireille Vautier, in addition to using other recyclable and reused materials in her work, aestheticizes plastic in a way that captures both the beauty, the potential, and also the present and looming threat of this modern material.

"The Golden Spike"
30.06.2017 - 06.08.2017



Watching Forever, Forever

June 2  -  September 6

Cloud and Adam&Siam are proud to present their first collaboration and upcoming exhibition "Watching Forever, Forever".

"I want to watch you forever, let me watch you forever. It is that I am only truly happy when I watch you, ever." 

With works of Fauve Bouwman, Danny Griffioen, Sam Hiscox, Menno Kok, Maureen Marck, Charlotte McKelvie, Sebastiaan Pagano Mirani and Lana Prins.

"Watching Forever, Forever"
02.06.2017 - 06.08.2017
Rokin 93, 1012 KM Amsterdam (Adam & Siam)

opening hours:
everyday from 12 PM - 1 AM