Moving Atmospheres

 

 

 

Aria
Aria
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ON AIR
ON AIR
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[1]
free visual
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Studio tryout, 2018 Photography © Studio Tomás Saraceno, 2017

Studio tryout, 2018

Photography © Studio Tomás Saraceno, 2017

Moving Atmospheres

Garage Museum of Contemporary Art – Atrium Commission

Moscow, Russia

September 11, 2020 – February 14, 2021

Curated by Iaroslav Volovod

We live in a remarkable geological moment in history, the anthropogenic era, when spontaneously over the course of millions of years, and increasingly in recent centuries, humans are becoming, intermittently yet inevitably, a geological force that changes the face of our planet. – Vladimir Vernadsky 

 

 

Moving Atmospheres, the tenth Garage Atrium Commission curated by Iaroslav Volovod, is a partially mirrored sphere suspended in the air, propelling us towards an Aerocene epoch. We call towards this new era with Aerocene. For more than a decade we have been imagining a world free from the carbon, extractivism, capitalism and patriarchy that fuels some forms of life, a new way of being with the atmosphere and emissions-free travel, free from solar panels, lithium, helium, hydrogen and fossil fuels. This new era stands in stark contrast to the lingering eco-traumas of the Anthropocene, the current geological age in which some  human capitalistic activity has been the dominant influence on climate and the environment.

 

 

This unique artwork, conceived of for Garage, takes us  a step closer toward this new era, working for the first time with a material that posits the sculpture as a working prototype for a balloon that is able to float around the world, fueled only by the air we breathe and the heat of the sun. The use of ETFE, an extremely durable translucent polymer, means the artwork performs a crucial next step in the development of aerosolar flights.

 

 

The installation Moving Atmospheres is a modeled version of a bigger structure, also made of ETFE, proven to sustain long-distance flights, while floating at altitudes between 20 km and 40 km. The design of this sculpture builds on scientific experiments begun by the French Centre National d’Études Spatiales (CNES), where Tomás Saraceno was artist in residence in 2012. Beginning in the late 1970s CNES began to launch Infrared radiation balloons (montgolfière infrarouge, or MIR) into the upper levels of the atmosphere. These structures are made of two different lightweight materials: transparent and mirror foils. The mirror part of these sculptures reflects part of the sun’s radiation, thus preventing the air envelopes from overheating. The transparent half helps to maintain the temperature inside the envelope during the night, as it absorbs infrared radiation emitted from the earth’s surface, the solar heat that the planet accumulated during the day.

 

 

This project for Garage resonates with the most daring concepts of the Russian avant-garde, who suggested that people, buildings, and even entire cities should become airborne. Yet, while the visionary ideas of the Russian cosmists foreshadowed a speedy relocation to new extraterrestrial habitats, we propose an alternative that enables us to attune to the air, its movements and the role we each have as co-creators of the atmosphere. Leading cosmist Nikolai Fedorov saw the museum as fundamentally contradicting the idea of progress, and sought to unite the space of life with  the space of the museum. 

 

The future is in the air!! As we float at the bottom of the ocean of air, we move into Aerocene, an era that resists the gravity of today by keeping the temperature of the air stable so all passengers may stay aboard this journey!! As you know we need to find alternative ways to move within the planetary boundaries and out of the colonialist, extractivist and patriarchal practices that keep fueling our economies, and find alternative social, environmental and mental ecologies of practice among all of us…to open up our thermodynamic imaginations, to float within an envelope of sun-heated air, to move with the wind…towards a movement of other orbits of interaction to keep us all together on this journey aboard this flying earth!!

Tomás Saraceno


 

 

 

Aria
Aria
·
ON AIR
ON AIR
·
[1]
free visual
·
...