On Cloud Cities
Marion Ackermann: The concept of utopia has supposedly returned within the context of contemporary art. Do you also see the utopian idea as a reemerging theme?
Tomás Saraceno: […] Utopia, extropia, atopia, utopies réalisables, dystopia, and more … I need them all, a place and a non-place … I encounter the possible impossibilities every night in my dreams, the best possible scenarios and nightmares, as well—necessary states … But I also wake up, at least I hope so sometimes … Utopian dreams drive us towards the impossible. Jules Verne commented that “all that is impossible remains to be achieved.” If we don’t set our aims high, how do we expect to move forward? … Utopia needs to include everyone and everything, and we all need the courage to dream, to share the responsibility of not only one, but many possible futures. The arts, as with any other discipline, can play a role in this, within a network of correlations and interrelated ecosystems of where I, you, we live. Once we wish for something, everything else can be achieved. The problem lies in stimulating these wishes. Many ideas are in a latent state, needing to be translated, interpreted … but nothing is more real than our engagement in a dialogue..
MA: How important is the physical realization of your concepts for you?
TS: […] In each discipline, I see another universe—and I keep getting lost every time I try to dive into a new one … struggling with how many I can’t even see or read, invisible to my eyes and so relevant to yours, I need more senses to perceive this, that, and your reality … the Cloud Cities should help to facilitate a dialogue and are therefore real on Earth or in orbit … in the way that stars become more real to someone who uses them for navigation, this model for reality is capable of a perception that becomes tangible as we construct it through dialogue … the medium is the message many times … and I have no preconfigured medium for expressing ideas. For the project at K21 … we could not find a computer program, or institution with the necessary knowledge to help predict the exact behavior of the net, or whether the force applied to the net could damage the existing building. The conclusion we arrived at with the engineers was that a 1:1 real model presents the most cost-effective means to test these real forces … this is interesting from a variety of perspectives … and it is the direction I am interested in pursuing with the construction of Cloud Cities. When you acknowledge that the process is not just a part of the project, but the project itself … then changes, expands, gets smaller again, rebuilds… hibernates, reproduces, and mutates … dynamic systems in feedback loops … the rest is unknown. It turns out that roughly 95 % of the universe is dark energy and dark matter, the rest—everything on Earth, everything ever observed—planets, plants, water, humans, hydrogen, helium … everything that is known adds up to less than 5 % of the universe_