Utilitus Cloud, 2016

Benjamin Hirschkoff
(American, born 1972)

Location: Valley View Middle School, Snohomish


Artist Ben Hirschkoff's aluminum and LED light sculpture Utilitus Cloud represents the intersection of nature and man-made utility. It depicts what a cloud might look like if it were a robot and subject to human control. The sculpture is composed of four layers of cloud-shaped aluminum. The surface is scattered with several bolt heads and an arrangement of knobs, switches, and vents. Between the layers are LED light strips programmed to activate different colors and animated patterns in sync with the school's bell schedule. Hirschkoff notes that the artwork comments on "our seemingly relentless fascination with control mechanisms." It is intended to inspire wonder and a sense of playfulness, important things for students to remember during the formative years of middle school.

This artwork was acquired for the State Art Collection in partnership with Snohomish School District.


Seattle-based artist Ben Hirschkoff creates mixed media sculptural installations, collages, and ceramic artworks. He received a Bachelor of Arts in studio art from Humboldt State University in California and a Master of Fine Arts in ceramics from the University of Washington in Seattle in 2006.

MediumAluminum with programmed LED lights
Dimensions5 ft x 34 ft 9 in x 2 1/2 in
ID NumberWSAC2014.008.000
Acquisition MethodSite responsive commission
Artist LocationWashington, United States
Location Information
AgencySnohomish School District
Artwork LocationValley View Middle School
Entry lobby, southwest wall above main office
WA CountySnohomish
Site TypePublic School
Address14308 Broadway St SE
Snohomish, WA 98290
Geo. Coordinates47.868074 | -122.102379
Before VisitingSome artworks may be located in areas not accessible to the general public (especially in K-12 public schools). Consider contacting the site prior to a visit to ensure access.