“On a trip to learn about the practice of spider divination in the village of Somié, Cameroon, I came to know the diviner Bollo Pierre. After spending time with Bollo, joining him for several conversations with a ground-dwelling spider, he asked me to create a website that shares the practice and knowledge of ŋgam dù divination with the world. Responding to his wish, I relay an exchange with the Mambila spider on behalf of Bollo, the people of Somié and its community of spider diviners.”
Nggàm dù is a web portal for myriad translation between human and spiderly responses, passed across the interstices of language, time zone and species. To seek out a more equal balance of human, techno- and bio-diversity, a dialogue is opened with our arachnid kin. In collaboration with the spider diviners of Somié and friend of Arachnophilia David Zeitlyn, Nggàm dù meditates on the possibilities of reciprocal, intercultural and interspecies relations. The project has been made upon the request of spider diviners in Somié, Cameroon, with the Arachnophilia community and its founding member Tomás Saraceno. All material published on the web/site remains the intellectual property of the diviners and people of Somié. Furthermore, all funds raised through Nggàm dù will be donated to a programme of local projects as detailed on the website.
Tomás Saraceno’s solo-exhibition will encompass the whole of Arts Towada’s temporary exhibition spaces, in commemoration of the tenth anniversary of Arts Towada for Inter+Play #002. For this seminal show, in which the artist draws connections between the terrestrial, atmospheric, and cosmic realms, a dynamic relationship emerges between manifold forms of life and organic matter in both the indoor and outdoor environments that the Towada Art Center provides.
Inter+Play is Towada Art Center’s ongoing three-part exhibition to celebrate the tenth anniversary of Arts Towada, a city-wide initiative that promotes art throughout the city along its main thoroughfare Kanchogai Avenue. The second season will take place from Friday, October 1, 2021 to Monday, January 10, 2022, and features the visionary artist Tomás Saraceno, whose work is part of the center’s permanent collection. Visitors will be invited into the floating and interconnected worlds of Aerocene and Arachnophilia, the artist’s open-source, community projects, calling for environmental justices and interspecies cohabitation through renewed relationships with the terrestrial, atmospheric and cosmic realms. Saraceno’s international and interdisciplinary practice challenges dominant ways of inhabiting and sensing the environment, continuously redefining the place of artistic production in the face of destructive habits and subjugated forms of knowledge. The artist’s solo exhibition will fill the entirety of the center’s gallery spaces, marking the largest display of his work ever held at a Japanese museum.
Throughout the exhibition, Tomás Saraceno’s collaborations with spiders and the atmosphere offer a moment of transcendence, celebrating forms of wisdom that subvert the hierarchical relationship through which some organize the world and inviting us to reattune to the web of coexistence as it manifests at Towada Art Center.
With sounds, gestures, vibrations and visions, sculptures, installations, augmented reality, and experiments in bio- and technodiversity, Tomás Saraceno re-reads and rewrites the monumental area of Neapolis of Syracuse with AnarcoAracnoAnacroArcano, an immersive site-specific exhibition that challenges the dominant ways of living and perceiving our shared environment.
Over the course of the exhibition, the spider’s web, arachnomancy, the evocation and reinterpretation of myths and the concept of metamorphosis become guiding concepts for rethinking and rediscovering the interweaving of life forms, timelines and symbiopoietic networks that animates the park, turning our attention to those that have inhabited it for millions of years—such as the 46 species of spider that have been found there. An immersion that multiplies the stories told by the archaeological site and questions the centrality of human history and in particular that of the West, asking visitors to pay attention to the webs of life that connect us to our surrounding ecologies.
The exhibition, curated by Paolo Falcone, is promoted by the Sicilian Region – Department of Cultural Heritage and Sicilian Identity, by the Archaeological and Landscape Park of Syracuse, Eloro, Villa del Tellaro and Akrai. It is produced and organized by Civita Sicilia in collaboration with Studio Tomás Saraceno, INDA – National Institute of Ancient Drama and Academy of the Art of Ancient Drama.
Taking place in the Domaine des Etangs, a stone castle nestled in the 20km2 crater of the Rochechouart meteorite, Tomás Saraceno’s latest solo exhibition, Du sol au soleil, is an invitation to build sustained attunements with others and for us to poetically rethink alternative ways of inhabiting the world. Through a collection of more than twenty historical and exclusive pieces, dating from 2016 to the present day, Saraceno proposes to plunge into the heart of a research that renews our awareness of the world and the links that cross it. This is notably achieved through the Aerocene project, an artistic interdisciplinary artistic endeavor initiated by Tomás Saraceno that seeks to devise new modes of sensitivity, achieving an ethical collaboration with the atmosphere and the environment.
A series of public events relating to the cultivation of interspecies attunement, the art of noticing, and to building more equitable modes of existence with the environment, will be held throughout the exhibition. The project will culminate in 2022 with the installation in the Domaine des Etangs of the site-specific, monumental and permanent work Du sol au soleil, an aerial structure, both cloud and spider/web, which unveils perspectives otherwise inaccessible to humankind.
Movement is a site-specific augmented reality sculpture forged by Tomás Saraceno. As a collective call for environmental justices that enable interspecies cohabitation, this artwork was made in collaboration with the elements, giving humans the chance to re-sense the natural currents and rhythms of the planet. To trace the paths of Aerocenic activity is to acknowledge the non-human mediation at play within the spheres above. Each Movement builds momentum for expanding our environmental imaginaries, reminding us that the air belongs to everyone.
Spatial Echoes of Breath, a cloud constellation by Tomás Saraceno, will feature as part of CARB’s permanent public art collection. The program curated by CARB – The California Air Resources Board and Dyson & Womack – will include the world’s largest permanent collection of artworks addressing air quality and the effects of climate change. Slated to open on November 18th, the new facility will also host a program of arts engagements supporting local partnerships and educational programs, where the common areas with public art will be open to the public.
We are glad to announce Particular Matter(s), our largest exhibition in the United States to date. Organized by Emma Enderby, Chief Curator, with Alessandra Gómez and Adeze Wilford, Assistant Curators
Through floating sculptures, interactive installations, and an artistic process that centers collaboration, often with spiders and their webs, Tomás Saraceno proposes a conversation between human and nonhuman lifeforms. These beings have been disregarded by humans in the Capitalocene, a name for the era of Earth’s existence that we’re living in, characterized by the destructive effects of capitalism on the environment. In a call for environmental justice, Saraceno also collaborates with human communities that have been impacted by these negative effects to renew relationships with Earth, the air, and the cosmos, particularly as part of his community projects, Aerocene and Arachnophilia.
Particular Matter(s), the Tomás’ largest exhibition in the US to date, brings this layered approach together, celebrating the complexity of our collective existence while looking for ways to live together differently. The exhibition features new and existing works in The Shed’s two galleries and a large-scale, immersive commission in The McCourt, The Shed’s largest space. The exhibition will be accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue and a robust public program in partnership with the Earth Institute, Columbia University.
From Arachnophobia to Arachnophilia, a tactile volume about spiders and their webs by Tomás Saraceno is in the making: an artist book edited by May Castleberry (Editor, Contemporary Editions) produced with the MoMA Library Council, a program intended to benefit the Museum’s research collections and to give artists and opportunity to explore the art of the book.
This hand-cut, hand-bound volume is intended to draw attention to spiders, their webs, and our shared environment through the participatory form of the pop-up book. It unfolds in five scenes, revealing a spider attached by a filament to its web; a spider and its web in a museum building, not far from a human spectator; a constellation connected to weblike threads, as cosmic arachnid architecture; an enchanted cobwebbed forest; and a layered image of diving bell spiders, beings that spend most of their lives underwater. As the planet faces the mass extinction of spiders, insects, and other invertebrates, with enormous environmental consequences, Saraceno’s project encourages new threads of connectivity to move us from arachnophobia to arachnophilia.
Tomás Saraceno’s solo exhibition at the Serpentine Galleries, London, curated by Rebecca Lewin will perform a dissolving of the material and ontological thresholds of inside/outside, nature/culture, wild/anthropogenic environs, inviting multispecies ecologies to flourish and beckoning new modes of entanglement and becomings.
Whilst Aalborg has historically been known as the “city of smoking chimneys”, filling the horizon with industrial clouds. Today we ask ourselves, what are the clouds we need to imagine, to overcome our current era of the Anthropocene and move into new possible futures?
A living sculpture with a pulse, activated by both human and non-human actors, each playing a decisive and individual role in a kind of delicate ecosystem, Cloud City Aalborg is a 30 meter high inhabitable, multi-level and multi-species sculpture coming to the site of the former distilling factories of De Danske Spritfabrikker in Aalborg, Denmark in 2025. Its shape is borrowed from the logics of the cumulonimbus cloud, with intersecting modules combining like aggregating soap bubbles. Reacting with the seasons and the elements, Cloud City Aalborg will perform as a social experiment of coexistence for all beings, both human and nonhuman, living and nonliving. Cloud City Aalborg will situate into pre-existing life cycles and metabolisms, serving as a living space for all beings–regardless of identity, race, gender, sexuality, socioeconomic class, ability, or even species, be they sensorially, physically, or intellectually marginalized or nondivergent–including visitors, land animals, birds, fungi, bacteria, and the local communities that serve all the above. Each module will serve such purposes – both from the outside and from the inside. Some of the modules will be inhabited by different animals, like birds or insects, while wild flowers and plants will provide food for the cohabiting species, inviting, for example, bees, butterflies and birds to move in.
Studio Tomás Saraceno approaches materials in terms of life cycles rather than finite life spans: a material’s potential, its use, and its form are not separate concepts, but are one and the same. In this approach, we step closer to a goal of zero waste. We achieve this, in part, by reshaping our relation to “waste.” Any “excess” material from one project becomes life-giving nutrient for the next. We use as many organic materials as possible. Once they have nourished our practice, these materials decompose into the natural environment where they nourish the bacterial and microbiological life. For the synthetic materials we use, we aim to use in clear rather than mixed forms, so that they may be reused again and again. This material approach is part of our studio mission to “leave no trace”–except, of course, in a positive way on the minds, bodies, and objects in the ecosystems we join through our artistic practice.
As a counterpoint to the exhibition Aerodream. Architecture, design and inflatable structures, 1950-2020 at the Cité de l’architecture & du patrimoine, Tomás will be joined by renowned philosopher Peter Sloterdijk for a conversation that will address their overlapping zones of thought, with special consideration given to the flight of Aerocene Pacha, which departed from Salinas Grandes, Jujuy, Argentina on January 25, 2020, and to Sloterdijk’s Spheres trilogy.
Inviting us to reflect on space and time in the immense dawn of the Anthropocene era, this poetic and philosophical encounter will be moderated by Yann Rocher, architect, historian, exhibition curator.
A diverse constellation of works by Tomás Saraceno are viewable as part of Art Basel’s OVR: Pioneers art fair. From complex interwoven networks spun by spiders/webs, to floating sculptures and cosmic maps, sensory worlds and lines of communication intertwine and expand.
In Webs of Life, an experiment in technodiversity for a real augmented reality, Tomás Saraceno encourages us to move away from arachnophobia and towards arachnophilia through a collection of Augmented Reality (AR) spiders accessible anywhere in exchange for a photo of a spider/web via the Acute Art app. Through these AR sculptures, we can reconsider our relationship to spiders through a subversion of the digital – and sense a world that is disappearing.
Download the Acute Art app here.
Tomás Saraceno invites participants to go Back to Nature at this group exhibition for the Villa Borghese, curated by Costantino D’Orazio of OLTRE TUTTO. An intervention in the visucentric regime of the Capitalocene, sense the binaural vibrations of spiders/webs and the pulse of the cosmos with your headphones on and your phone’s haptics enabled in How to hear the universe in a spider/web: A live concert for/by Invertebrate Rights. Available through the Arachnomancy app by Studio Tomás Saraceno.
As part of We do not all breath the same air, Tomás Saraceno’s inaugural exhibition at neugerriemschneider, a special screening of Pacha, from the film and photography series Fly with Aerocene Pacha, will take place at Kino International (Karl-Marx-Allee 33, 10178 Berlin) at 10:30am Sunday, September 19, during Gallery Week Berlin. In Pacha, by Tomás Saraceno and Maximiliano Laina, members of the 33 communities of Salinas Grandes share their transgenerational testimonies of climate change, and their protest against the ‘green rush’ to mine lithium. This community project and flight set thirty-two world records, ratified by the Fédération Aeronautique Internations (FAI), with Aerocene pilot Leticia Noemi Marques. The screening will be followed by a discussion with the artist and Ute Meta Bauer.
We do not all breathe the same air, Tomás Saraceno’s inaugural exhibition at neugerriemschneider, is composed of works in diverse media, each posing social, scientific and philosophical lines of inquiry. Powered by decentralized and renewable energy from Naturstrom via six solar panels that have been installed on the roof of the gallery, neugerriemschneider’s opening hours will shift with daylight, reducing the amount of electricity required to power the exhibition. Highlighting issues of environmental urgency while celebrating the multi-agential nature of existence and the possibility of moving differently, together, We do not all breathe the same air poses questions surrounding a heightened consciousness of breath, air, and atmosphere, with its many injustices but also possibilities for transformation in the future. Moving forward will require both the realization and recognition that, not only do we not all breathe the same air, but that not all have the right to breathe.
‘In situ three-dimensional spider web construction and mechanics’ is published in PNAS Journal’s August 2021 issue. The article is co-authored with Markus Buehler, McAfee Professor of Engineering at MIT, together with Arachnophilia researchers Ally Bishop and Roland Mühlethaler.
Read more about the long-term project the article discusses on MIT’s blog here.
As part of Tomás Saraceno’s exhibition Webs of Life in Back to Earth at Serpentine, a new mini-podcast has been released through the series 140 Ideas. In Saraceno’s episode, the artist invites listeners to experience the sound of spider/webs, encouraging us to move from arachnophobia to Arachnophilia.
The mini-podcast episode featuring Tomás can be listened to here.
Tomás will be one of the keynote speakers at Bloom Festival, Copenhagen’s very first festival celebrating nature and science. Combining talks, music, installations, experience laboratories and nature walks, the open festival will be an event where nature, science, philosophy and art meet. It will take place from June 18th to June 20th at the Søndermarken park.
As part of “Connections: Imaginary Architectures between the Past and the Future” Tomás discussed the possibilities to shift our reliance on the digital, as a tool to reconnect to another, increasingly invisible, world, in dialogue with Stavros Katsanevas (Director of the European Gravitational Observatory), and with the participation of Luciano Migliaccio (FAU USP), Giselle Beiguelman (FAU USP), Lucia Tongiorgi Tomasi (Accademia dei Lincei), and Alessandro Tosi (University of Pisa, director of the Graphic Museum).
For the 17th Venice Biennale of Architecture, Tomás Saraceno’s contribution to the highly-imaginative Future Assembly gives place to that diverse array of nonhuman environmental agencies with which we share our homes and planet: spiders/webs, the living archive of the toxic particles that colonize the Ocean of Air. Like the spider, extending its cognition through the web, we too can learn to extend our sensitivity and attune ourselves to the voices we urgently need to hear.
The tenth Garage Atrium Commission will be an installation by Argentinian artist Tomás Saraceno: a product of Saraceno’s long-standing occupation with lighter than air movement and utopian modes of co-existing, the installation for Garage is the largest presentation of his practice in Russia to date.
Moving Atmospheres, a partially mirrored sphere suspended in the air, propels us toward an Aerocene epoch. Saraceno’s call to this new era is championed by the multi-disciplinary community group Aerocene. For more than a decade he has 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.
Saraceno’s solo exhibition Tomás Saraceno: Songs for the Air at Hessisches Landesmuseum Darmstadt is composed of new encounters. It is an exhibition that both challenges and utilizes technology to build new connections between us and the world, championing modes of participation that expand our awareness and work towards societal change. In this, Saraceno illuminates who and what it is we share this planet with and presenting a catalyst for individual and collective action. The exhibition will furthermore expand upon one of Saraceno’s most pressing interests – to create an exhibition that is neither site nor time specific, and whose intention reverberates beyond the museum’s walls.
Tomás Saraceno’s stage design for the upcoming production AIR-CONDITION at the Opéra National de Lorraine will bring new choreography to the air.
AIR – CONDITION takes inspiration from Yves Klein, animating ideas and concepts of the immaterial ephemeral experience he was so passionate about.
Tomás Saraceno together with choreographers Petter Jacobsson and Thomas Caley, set to l’île re- sonante by Eliane Radique, want to make visual the resonating vibrations that surround us daily. Saraceno’s work has, throughout his career, questioned how we may inhabit the “air”: Air – condition is a new creation that re-imagines questions posed by Yves Klein in 1954. What further sensibilities lie out there in the void? Let’s take the leap and find out. The project is produced by the CCN – Ballet de Lorraine, in collaboration with the Pompidou Metz and their exhibition Le ciel comme atelier – the sky as atelier.
Choreographers: Petter Jacobsson and Thomas Caley
Installation: Tomás Saraceno et les toiles cosmiques
Music: Eliane Radigue
Costumes creation: Birgit Neppl
Dramaturgy: Lucie Tuma
The Aerocene Foundation was invited to the 17th International Architecture Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia, curated by Hashim Sarkis. Museo Aero Solar Reconquista, a new aerosolar sculpture realized in Buenos Aires, Argentina and coordinated by Carlos Almeida that arrived in Italy by sail boat, was presented alongside the Aerocene backpack and two films: Aerocene, launches at White Sands, NM United States (2016) and Pacha (2020). The Museo Aero Solar presented in Venice was realized in Buenos Aires, Argentina by almost 200 Aerocene community members beginning in 2018 for a duration of two years. It embodies the stories, relationships and struggles of incarcerated peoples who chose to participate in the sculpture’s construction at an educational space within Criminal Unit No. 48 of the Buenos Aires Penitentiary Service. Today, their stories rise up. In the era of Aerocene, there are millions of associations, communities and connections. By being together, we engage in the conversation around terrestrial power structures including borders and punitive control—elements whose barriers discriminate disproportionately, but whose stories impact us all.
Collectively created by almost 200 Aerocene community members, it embodies the messages from the Bella Flor Recycling Cooperative and the incarcerated students of the educational space within Criminal Unit No. 48 of the Buenos Aires Penitentiary Service, part of the National University of San Martín. Today, their stories rise up.
Webs of Life, a project by Tomás Saraceno with Arachnophilia*, is an experiment in biodiversity and technodiversity** towards a real Augmented Reality. It is an invitation to move from arachnophobia to Arachnophilia, against the Sixth Mass Extinction. Subvert the digital to reconnect with the physical and become enmeshed in extended sensitivities of co-existence.
Webs of Life is part of Back to Earth at Serpentine. Support for this project comes from Serpentine and Acute Art.
Tomás Saraceno is pleased to be a part of the much anticipated group show Down to Earth organized by Berliner Festspiele at Martin Gropius Bau in Berlin.
This will be both an exhibition and an unplugged programme with daily changing live events that explore how the agenda of a shift in climate policy affects our own “operating system”.
Among artworks by many exciting artists, the exhibition will include a spider/web native to Gropius Bau and an open letter for invertebrate rights co-authored by Holocnemus Pluchei and Tomás Saraceno.
As part of the exhibition’s public programming, Tomás Saraceno will also give a talk on the multispecies ecologies that surround us, Friday (11.09) beginning at 6:30 PM.
This exhibition is initiated by Thomas Oberender, co-curated by Julia Badaljan, Thomas Oberender, Anja Predeick, Tino Sehgal, Jeroen Versteele, and with curatorial associates Descha Daemgen, Stefanie Hessler, Marc Pohl, Joulia Strauss, and Frédérique Aït-Touati.
Berlin Art Link visited us during recent exhibition ‘Algo-r(h)i(y)thms’ at Esther Schipper gallery last November, in conversations about the complexities of spiders and how they inform acoustic installations.
We invite you to rethink the future of our planet from an interspecies perspective: from inside the studio.
Video by MONA productions for Berlin Art Link online magazine.
Fly with Aerocene Pacha is a project by Tomàs Saraceno for Aerocene Foundation as part of CONNECT, BTS, curated by Daehyung Lee. CONNECT, BTS is a global curatorial practice, a series of projects realized by a range of artists and curators, whose work resonates with BTS’ philosophy.
The culmination of over 20 years experimental work, Fly with Aerocene Pacha will take off January 28th 2020 in the salt flats of Salinas Grandes, Argentina, becoming the first ever balloon-like structure to lift a human into the atmosphere, allowing its pilot to float free, without the use of fossil fuels, helium or lithium!
Our third solo exhibition with Esther Schipper Berlin, entitled ‘Algo-r(h)i(y)thms’, opens on 16th of November 2019.
In Spanish, “algo” means “something.” “Rhythm” comes from the Greek rhythmos, meaning “movement marked by the regulated succession of strong and weak elements, or of opposite or different conditions.” Though rhythm is both biological and inherent, theorized as evolutionarily instinctual, relating in human history to the speeds of the human heartbeat, gait, and emotional affect, our contemporary moment operates at a tempo artificially imposed rather than intuitively felt. Algo-r(h)i(y)thms then presents an urgent invitation to attune to our sym(bio)poetic futures, the radical reciprocity of all things, both living and nonliving, through a vibrational language.
Essentially blind, the web-building spider creates an image of the world through the tremors it sends and receives through the web, which also functions as an organic and specialized instrument for transmitting these seismic signals. The spider/web is thus considered a material extension of the spider’s own senses, and—some argue—of its mind. Accessing this Umwelt, the work actuates participants to see, touch, hear and for a moment exist within this web of linked perceptions, drawing awareness to proximal worlds.
‘Algo-r(h)i(y)thms’, is open until the 21st of December, 2019.
Our first solo exhibition in Seoul with Gallery Hyundai aims to disrupt and collapse separatist notions of scale, bringing together visualizations and sonifications of the cosmic web reverberating through spider/webs and constellations of clouds. All appears floating, revealing, enlarging and fading away…just like when the Moon’s shadow casts us into darkness during a solar eclipse, we are reminded of our place on a cosmic scale.
Ultimately, how can we move beyond the perceived boundaries of our entangled universe?
Gallery Hyundai presents the solo exhibition from Tomás Saraceno from October 30th till December 8th.
Cisternerne, once a subterranean reservoir holding Copenhagen’s water supply now offers a space in which to reexamine our changing relationship to water. Here, quarantined from the light of the sun, is a hydratic world. We have filled the caves with 1.4 million liters of water–only a fraction of its former capacity–as the water now plays a new role integrated into the scene of Event Horizon. An Event Horizon refers to a region of spacetime that marks a point of no return – when the gravitational pull makes escape from a subsuming black hole impossible. In the context of the sixth global extinction, humanity finds itself at an Event Horizon, though those that will fall into it first are also those least responsible for its arrival.
At Cisternerne, we attune with the rhythms of the planet by recognizing the effects of human action. For this reason all studio made artworks are suspended over a new work, conceived of in direct response to the way in which our current climate crisis is marked by a refiguration in the earth’s water. In making it imperative to visit Event Horizon: Tomás Saraceno by boat we hope to offer a powerful reminder of how critical it is that we find a way to change our actions—so we stop changing the climate.
Tomás Saraceno participates in the exhibition “The Rhythms of space”, at the crossroad of Art and Science curated by Stavros Katsanevas and on view at Museo della Grafica, Pisa Italy from 12th October until 8th December 2019.
The exhibition is the outcome of a two year work project between a group of artists (Gorka Alda, Pavel Buechler, Attila Csorgo, Raphael Dellaporta, Raymond Galle, Bertrand Lamarche, Lilian Lijn, Letizia de Maigret and Tomás Saraceno), scientists and philosophers (Valerio Boschi, Arnaud Dubois, Marc Lachièze-Ray, Alain Letailleur, Pierre Legrain, Roger Malina, Vincenzo Napolano, Stavros Katsanevas, Christian Spiering, Alessandro Tosi, Yves Winkin and Heinz Wismann), as part of the Universe 2.0 program with the support of Foundation Carasso.
Following the recent discovery of gravitational waves, the exhibition aims to question the nature and texture of space-time and matter, the notions of origin and horizon, the role of information and its tensions with representation, the questions of individuality and the nature of the human embedding in the cosmos.
From the 6th to the 11th of September, the “Aerocene Festival” rises from Olympiaberg as a symbol of unlimited pollution-free mobility, through which a new era free from fossil fuels could arise.
At the heart of the project are open-source Aerosolar sculptures developed by the interdisciplinary, decentralized Aerocene community, together with artist Tomás Saraceno. The sculptures become buoyant only with the heat of the sun and the wind – without the use of fossil fuels.
Talks and workshops complete the program of the festival on the Olympiaberg, towards an ethical collaboration with the atmosphere and the environment. Tomás Saraceno will participate in the talk: “Drift The Politics!” on Friday the 6th of September from 5 pm to 7.30 pm, together with representatives of the Avenir Institute, Denis Maksimov and Timo Tuominen, and Susanne Witzgall.
Everyone is invited to become part of this international community art project!
Tomás Saraceno will join the two day conference addressing art’s relationship with technological, social and environmental issues, taking place at Teatro alle Tese Arsenale as part of the 58th International Art Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia, May You Live In Interesting Times Public Program, led by the curator Ralph Rugoff.
Building on the premises shaping the Spider/web Pavilion 7 presented at the Venice Biennale 2019, Tomás Saraceno will talk about rights of non-human animals, interspecies interactions and issues related to the representation of non-humans and its ethical implications. The presentation will take place on Sept 14th at 2.30 pm and will be followed by a conversation with Ralph Rugoff, Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster and Margaret Wertheim.
More-Than-Humans curated by Stefanie Hessler delves into the visions of Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster and Tomás Saraceno, inviting visitors to explore questions surrounding technology, artificial intelligence, the collective minds of animals, and our attraction to the unknown. For the exhibition Tomás Saraceno presents How to entangle the universe in a spider web?, among a selection of other recent works. The piece forms part of his celebrated studies of spider/webs, whose complex structures resemble tiny universes, surpassing many of the architectural and other constructions made by humans, resonating across scales with the cosmic web. Saraceno often amplifies the vibrations of spider/webs as if they were musical instruments, making them audible for human participants. These entangled floating landscapes create a sensorial and living connections across ecosystems, resonating among participants to create a fuller awareness of the unheard and unnoticed voices that surrounds us.
More-than-humans is the third collaboration between Museo Nacional Thyssen-Bornemisza and Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary (TBA21). It forms part of an ongoing series of contemporary art exhibitions at the museum as part of a four-year agreement between the two institutions. TBA21 is a leading international art foundation, established in Vienna in 2002 by the philanthropist and collector Francesca Thyssen-Bornemisza, daughter of Baron Hans Heinrich Thyssen-Bornemisza, founder of the Museo Nacional, and representing the fourth generation of the family’s commitment to the arts. TBA21 marks a departure from the family’s previous engagement with the arts. The foundation has commissioned numerous works from leading contemporary artists, becoming a close collaborator in the artistic process and an active agent in the production of new works. This practice has led to the formation of a unique collection, which is being made accessible for the first time to audiences in Madrid through a series of exhibitions and public programs over a period of four years.
More-than humans will be accompanied by a wide-ranging public programme including a public conference with the artists on September 24, 2019 and workshops by Studio Tomás Saraceno focusing on arachnophobia and Arachnophilia, on the 30th and 31st of October. The exhibition is presented in the Moneo Temporary Exhibition Hall on the ground floor of the museum and an educational program structured by the EducaThyssen department as well as activities and conferences using TBA21 expertise will be organized to coincide with the exhibition.
September 24, 7–8pm
with Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster, Tomás Saraceno, Stefanie Hessler; introduced by Francesca Thyssen-Bornemisza
Studio Tomás Saraceno is pleased to announce a new large-scale sculpture commissioned by the Kemper Art Museum. The sculpture, which calls for new ways of thinking, feeling and knowing atmospheric threads of interconnection, will be the focal point of the glass-walled atrium and part of the museum’s expansion project set to open September 28, 2019. The commission follows Tomás Saraceno: Cloud Specific, his solo exhibition presented at the Kemper in 2012.
Curated by Bartolomeo Pietromarchi, Della Materia Spirituale Dell’Arte reflects upon what it means to talk about the spiritual aspect of art in current times. Western society has paved a sacred and spiritual path within the porosity of different cultures and beliefs symbolised by the city of Rome. The exhibition opens a dialogue between this powerful cultural manifestation and the current status of the world, with its social and hyper-connected dimensions. As Tomás Saraceno engenders new modes of sensing the world, awareness is raised, so that the barriers of communication begin to transcend pre-existing canons.
The exhibition brings together works of contemporary art with a selection of archaeological relics from the capital’s leading museums: the Vatican Museums, the National Roman Museum, the Capitoline Museums and the National Etruscan Museum at Villa Giulia.
Friday, July 12 from 11 AM – 1 PM Studio Tomás Saraceno invites you, our Arachnophilic friends, to make your voices heard and help weave the web of interspecies understanding. The dialog surrounding new and future developments in the Arachnophilia community comes after the launch of Arachnophilia.net and the Arachnomancy App, both released in conjunction with Tomás Saraceno’s Spider/Web Pavilion 7 currently on view at the Venice Biennale. These resources serve as living public reserves, whose free and accessible archives continue to expand as the chorus of voices that join in the proliferation of spider/web stories and worlds weave the fabric of an Arachnocene!
Esteemed guest Markus J. Buehler, Department Head and McAfee Professor of Engineering at MIT, spearheads the gathering with his talk: “The Nexus of Materialized Sound and Sonified Material”, the abstract of which can be found below. A long-term scientific collaborator of Saraceno and the studio, Buehler’s research interests span from the material properties of spider silk and spider web architectures to artificial intelligence. Tracing the links between art and science, Saraceno and Buehler first met during Saraceno’s residency as the first CAST Visiting Artist at MIT in 2012. After scanning Latrodectus mactans (black widow) and Cyrtophora citricola webs in collaboration with Saraceno in 2014-2015 as part of the Spider Web Scanner 3.0, Buehler retained a strong bond with the studio, refining and automating the Spider Web Scanner to better study the functional dynamics of web architectures. Buehler teamed up with Saraceno once again this past fall to realize a 3D spider web instrument and interface – along with Evan Ziporyn and MIT researchers Isabelle Su and Ian Hatwick – for ON AIR at the Palais de Tokyo.
“The Nexus of Materialized Sound and Sonified Material”
Markus J. Buehler, McAfee Professor of Engineering, MIT
ABSTRACT: Modeling matter as resonating systems, this talk will cover the interface of material and sound, and present how we can transcend scales in space and time to make the invisible accessible to our senses and to manipulate matter from different vantage points, using innovative agents such as AI interacting with human creativity. The impact of this work is the design and making of new materials, new art and music, and a deep mathematical understanding of the functional underpinnings of disparate manifestations of hierarchical systems. Building on the opportunities created by nanoscience, new research that probes the unique features of the nano-world will be presented. Reaching the nanoscale, objects are no longer static but move all the time, which is reflected in the complex motions of atoms and molecules. Exploiting this phenomenon, we learn how sound can be generated from molecular vibrations, how designer materials can be created through sound, and how the neural networks of living systems – their brains – form a medium for translation between different manifestations. Using AI, we explore a new interactive interface of human musical expression with learned behavior to better understand the physiology and disease etiology due to the misfolding of proteins, explore it as the basis to generative algorithms, and present musical compositions based on the natural soundings of amino acids and proteins. Using the concepts of harmonic waves, a unifying descriptor of various hierarchical systems will be developed, which is then used to illustrate competing concepts of order and disorder and how they are the basis to create functional cross-scale relationships. The insights from this theory explain practically relevant issues such as the strength of silk or the emergence of disease, and the creation of new art. The translation from various hierarchical systems into one another presents a powerful paradigm to understand the emergence of properties in materials, language, visual art, music, and similar systems.
On the occasion of the 58th International Art Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia, curated by Ralph Rugoff and titled May You Live in Interesting Times, Tomás Saraceno presents two new immersive installations: Spider/Web Pavilion 7: Oracle Readings, Weaving Arachnomancy, Synanthropic Futures: At-ten(t)sion to invertebrate rights!, and Aero(s)cene: When breath becomes air, when atmospheres become the movement for a post fossil fuel era against carbon-capitalist clouds.
Extending an invitation to attune to our sympoietic futures, the installations celebrate the radical interconnectedness of all things, both living and nonliving, and serve as spaces of care and attention, to multiply perspectives and weave a participatory storytelling against extraction and extinction.
Spider/Web Pavillion 7 performs the need for the sensitivity to the threads along which the complexity of life unfolds, whilst Aero(s)cene composes as a post fossil fuel cloudscape in tidal scenography, calling for new ways of thinking, feeling and knowing the multiple atmospheric strands of interconnection in the current age of climate change, or as some may say, the Sixth Mass Extinction event.
Together, they form as sensitive interfaces constantly modified by different sociabilities, as Aero(s)cene oscillates in performance to the rhythm of solar cycles and the tides, in duet with the rising sea phases of global warming, the Spider/Web Pavillion 7 summons a series of interactions among the Spider/Web Pavilions across Venice during the time of the exhibition: from different forms of divination, future telling through Arachnomancy cards, to multidisciplinary exchanges between invited guests, both human and nonhuman, transmitting the frequencies of the inaudible, and yet sensible, for the voices we might need to hear.
You are invited to participate in Venice through May 11–November 24, 2019, and around the Planet, via the Arachnomancy App (iOS/Android), helping you to find the other Spider/Web Pavilions in Venice or elsewhere and encounter their oracles, joining a collective exercise of mapping against extinction.
For more information and program information visit www.arachnophilia.net, a living archive of coexistences.
The Coming World: Ecology as the New Politics 2030–2100 curated by Snejana Krasteva and Ekaterina Lazareva at the Garage Museum of Contemporary Art in Moscow probes a future already in the making, one in which environmental and political agendas merge. In drawing public attention through art to the ecological imbalances created by human activity, a new type of discourse can take place. As part of the group show Tomás Saraceno invites humans to adjust their sensory apparatus to the environment of other species and experience new ways of living together.
Tomorrow is the Question, a curatorial collaboration between ARoS and Luise Faurschou, examines the shape of our common future in tomorrow’s world. Through the lens of fifteen international contemporary artists, the exhibition catapults visitors into new modes of thinking, analyzing and contemplating challenges too often buried at the bottom of political agendas. In confronting our habitual perception of the way things are, the works call for viewers to begin constructive dialogues on the could be of our future.
Included in the exhibition, Tomás Saraceno’s Aeroke 5.3: towards an Aerocene epoch (2019), is made up on two floating, gigantic balloons – a vision of the future and an alternative universe where people can live in a state of harmony with nature. Drawing on new technologies and alternative energy forms, Saraceno’s work inspires us to form a set of values based on balance and sustainability in the future.
The Spider/Web Oracle manifests, so that we might consult and read the collective, multi-species futures that are written in the silken threads. As life draws lines on your hands, so the spider draws lines on your future. Attuning to this non-verbal language may amplify our response-ability to each other—Nothing makes itself alone: ask the oracles how many multitudes might contain the cosmic web…
The Spider/Web Oracle Readings Program runs 8th-11th May as part of May You Live In Interesting Times, Biennale Arte 2019, curated by Ralph Rugoff, and summons a community of arachnophilic friends, including:
Wednesday May 8th
A sonic spider/web tour
with Boštjan Perovšek and the Spider/Web Oracle
Thursday May 9th
Hans Ulrich Obrist and the Spider/Web Oracle
The Web of Inquiry: Spider-Man
with Lukas Feireiss and the Spider/Web Oracle
Spiders Framing Questions (from Spider Divination in Cameroon to thinking about futures)
with David Zeitlyn and the Spider/Web Oracle
Friday May 10th
Human-machine-animal: interactions and interpretations across species boundaries with the aid of machines
with Alex Jordan and the Spider/Web Oracle
“Specchio ustorio”: the burning mirror, an emblematic image of love
with Rudy Favaro
Spider-human relations: a survey of fear
with Filipa Ramos, Heidi Ballet and the Spider/Web Oracle
Saturday May 11th
Arachnocosmia, the emergence of space and the elements in a network of interactions
with Stavros Katsanevas and the Spider/Web Oracle
A spider/web tour of the Biennale Giardini
with Marco Isaia and the Spider/Web Oracle
Meeting point: Spider/Web Pavilion 7, 45°25’46.4″N 12°21’30.0″E
Tomás Saraceno will participate in the 58th International Art Exhibition, May You Live in Interesting Times, curated by Ralph Rugoff, on view May 11–November 24, 2019. Contributing two new immersive installations, Tomás will join the multitude of artistic approaches composing the exhibition that seeks to engage critically with art’s social function. Extending an invitation to challenge our existing habits of thought, the exhibition will open up our readings of objects and images, gestures and situations, in order to re-examine the precarious aspects of existence today through diverse ways of making sense of the world.
Tomás Saraceno will join the “Space and the Arts” panel on Thursday March 14, 2019 as part of MIT’s Beyond the Cradle 2019 conference, alongside Laurie Anderson, Agnes Meyer-Brandis, and Josh Simpson. The discussion, led by Eva Diaz (author and associate professor of History of Art and Design at the Pratt Institute), takes place during the 50th Anniversary year of the Moon landing and brings together visual artists engaged in critical considerations of the New Space Age.
Tomás Saraceno will deliver his lecture Falling upward in an ocean of air during Engadin Art Talks on Saturday 26 January, 2019, alongside talks by Cecilia Bengolea, Francesco Bonami, Arno Brandlhuber, Elizabeth Diller, Ravit Helled, Lena Henke, Thomas Hirschhorn, Isabel Nolan, Smiljan Radic, Heji Shin, Juergen Teller and with panel discussions led by Daniel Baumann (Director of the Kunsthalle Zurich), Bice Curiger (Artistic Director of the Fondation Vincent van Gogh Arles), Hans Ulrich Obrist (Artistic Director of the Serpentine Galleries London) and Philip Ursprung (Professor for the History of Art and Architecture at ETH Zurich).
When a meteoroid enters the Earth’s atmosphere, air molecules are set in motion, rearranging in a new composition along its trail, a score that persists from less than 1 second up to several minutes. Occurring at heights of about 85 to 105 km, this trail is capable of reflecting radio waves—a hidden score written where space meets Earth, revealing the invisible web of radio waves that envelopes the planet. The sprinkled high pitches in the persistent humming of radio signal, the distant pitch of these cosmic fragments interplay and refract, are echoes of the continual micro encounters between this planet and the rest of the universe…
Tomás Saraceno will present a series of works during Small Between the Stars, Large Against the Sky, Manif d’art 9 – The Quebec City Biennial from 16 February – 21 April 2019. Curated by Jonathan Watkins, the Biennial implies a sensitivity towards the environment and a desire to question human nature.
Sundial for Spatial Echoes, a dynamic and immersive cloudscape, will be presented in the foyer of Bauhaus Museum Weimar from 5 April, 2019. Bridging the physical interior space with the external environment, Sundial for Spatial Echoes provides a platform for the individual contemplation of the entangled nature of being and becoming, and our immersion in various material and immaterial interdependencies.
A great deal of the universe is yet to become visible, a concealed web that holds what we can perceive together. How many webs, cosmic, ecological, social are we are still not capable of seeing?
Tomás Saraceno presents his first solo exhibition in Los Angeles at Tanya Bonakdar Gallery, from the perspective of the spider/web, telling stories on the impossibility of differentiating the individual being from the web of life in which we are entangled.
In the last decades, the word ‘entanglement’ has found itself literally entangled in our vernacular. From the observation of multiple modes of existence of humans and other life forms, to emergent ideas of extended and tentacular thinking, or of rhizomatic multiplicities, it seems that we have entered an age of entanglement.
The spider/web presents as a figure of this entanglement—an eight-legged arachnid that has lived on this Earth for more than 380 million years, with more than 45,000 species distributed across a multitude of habitats worldwide. The spider’s senses are extended through their webs: the complex silk architectures that, are both actual material and sensorial systems, and delicate metaphors for entanglement.
This symposium will bring together thinkers from various disciplines—arachnologists, biologists, historians and philosophers of science and media, composers— to think with, about and near spiders and their webs. Experimenting with formats and presentation modes, the symposium will consider the actual spiders around us—their bodies, cognitive and perceptive realms—as well as the ways knowledge about these animals has been produced, shared, and how this knowledge has triggered further investigations and inspired other areas of research – such as Tomás Saraceno’s forays into spider web hybridities, or with possibilities for interspecies communication. Simultaneously, the symposium will explore the symbolic and affective dimensions of how we look at spiders, and how, by paying renewed attention to them, we might discover new threads of connectivity.
2:00 – 7:00 PM
Introduced by Tomás Saraceno and Rebecca Lamarche-Vadel and curated and moderated by FIlipa Ramos. Keynote by Vinciane Despret. With… Jussi Parikka, Mitchell Akiyama, Christine Rollard, Alex Jordan, Gabriele Uhl, Frédérique Ait-Touati.
Jamming with… Spiders
Concerto Pour Arachnides/Concert for Arachnids Eliane Radigue
With… Carol Robinson, Bertrand Gauguet, Julia Eckhardt and Yannick Guedon.
Eliane Radigue proposes a sequel of her Occam Ocean series, a meditative sound exploration that she started in 2011. Using only low frequency instruments or voice tonalities – the ones that spiders are most likely to feel – the musicians perform solos, duets and a quartet, playing very long and continuous notes that might elicit reactions from the spiders.
OCCAM XXIII for Bertrand Gauguet – Saxophone (new piece)
OCCAM RIVER XIX for Julia Eckhardt and Yannick Guédon – Alto – Baryton
OCCAM RIVER XXII for Carol Robinson and Bertrand Gauguet for Bass Clarinette and Saxophone (new piece)
OCCAM DELTA XVIII for Carol Robinson, Julia Eckhardt, Yannick Guédon, Bertrand Gauguet (new piece)
In co-production with Festival d’Automne
Saturday December 15th
Workshop & Tours
Public workshop in building simple devices to listen to spider vibrational communication with Dr. Roland Mühlethaler, researcher at Studio Tomás Saraceno.
Public tours to explore the 450 spider/webs already living at the Palais de Tokyo, and the spider/webs in the exhibition space.
In French, with Christine Rollard, biologist and arachnologist from the Muséum d’Histoire naturelle in Paris.
In English, with Peter Jäger, Head of Arachnology at the Senckenberg Research Institute and Natural History Museum in
Lisbon-born Filipa Ramos is a writer and editor based in London, where she works as Editor in Chief of art-agenda. She is a Lecturer in the Experimental Film MA programme of Kingston University and in the MRes Art:Moving Image of Central Saint Martins, both in London, and collaborates with the Master Programme of the Institut Kunst, Basel. Ramos is co-curator of Vdrome, a programme of screenings of films by visual artists and filmmakers. She was Associate Editor of Manifesta Journal and contributed for Documenta 13 (2012) and 14 (2017). She has recently edited Animals (Whitechapel Gallery/MIT Press).
Vinciane Despret is a Belgian philosopher of science. She is Associate Professor at the Department of Philosophy of the University of Liège. A foundational thinker for the consolidating field of animal studies, Despret’s transdisciplinary approach is located across philosophy of sciences and practices of knowledge, ethology and anthropology. Her research focuses on the relationship between observers and the observed during the conduct of scientific research. Investigating “the political consequences of our theoretical choices”, she undertakes a critical understanding of how science is fabricated, following scientists doing fieldwork and observing how they actively relate to their objects of study.
Frédérique Aït-Touati is a specialist in comparative literature and history of sciences. She is a member of the Centre de recherches sur les arts et le langage (CNRS-EHESS). She is interested in the poetics of the scientific genres and the relationship between fiction and knowledge, from both historical and contemporary perspectives. Her first, award-winning book (Fictions of the Cosmos. Science and Literature in the Seventeenth Century, 2011) offers an account of how astronomers made themselves interpreters of the heavens in the age of telescopic discovery. Her recent publications include Histoires et savoirs (2012, co-edited with Anne Duprat), on science and narrative in the early modern period, and Le Monde en images. Voir, représenter, savoir, de Descartes à Leibniz (2015, with Stephen Gaukroger), on ‘picturability’ and the limits of representation in the 17th century. Her next book explores new representations of the Earth (Terra Forma, B42, 2019). She studied at the Ecole Normale Supérieure and Trinity College, Cambridge. She taught at Paris IV-Sorbonne (2004-2007) and University of Oxford (2007-2014).
Mitchell Akiyama is a Toronto-based scholar, composer, and artist. His eclectic body of work includes writings about sound, metaphors, animals, and media technologies; scores for film and dance; and objects and installations that trouble received ideas about history, perception, and sensory experience. Akiyama holds a PhD in communications from McGill University and an MFA from Concordia University. He is Assistant Professor of Visual Studies in the Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design at the University of Toronto.
Alex Jordan is a Principal Investigator (Group Leader) at the Max Planck Institute Department of Collective Behaviour; an Associate Editor of The American Naturalist; and maintains a position as Senior Research Fellow at the University of Texas at Austin. Jordan studies the social and collective systems of various animals, from insects and spiders, to fish, up to humans—the ways single individuals come together to form much larger groups, and the rules of interaction that govern how these groups behave. His research program encompasses in-depth field studies, molecular genetics, and neurobiological approaches to understand both the mechanisms and the outcomes of social interactions.
Jussi Parikka is Professor at the Winchester School of Art (University of Southampton) and Docent of Digital Culture Theory at the University of Turku. His research has addressed a wide range of topics contributing to a critical understanding of network culture, aesthetics and media archaeology of contemporary society. His books include the media ecology-trilogy Digital Contagions (2007, 2nd. ed 2016), the award-winning Insect Media (2010) and most recently, A Geology of Media (2015), which addresses the environmental contexts of technical media culture and was continued in the short booklet A Slow, Contemporary Violence: Damaged Environments of Technological Culture (2016).
Christine Rollard is a French biologist and arachnologist. She is Professor and Researcher at the National Museum of Natural History in Paris, where she is responsible for the conservation of the spider collections, educational programmes to schools and general audiences. She has authored about fifty publications on spiders. Rollard’s scientific activity has focused bio-ecology, fauna and systematics: identifying and ranking spiders. She has worked in different geographical areas, participating in about fifteen biodiversity study programs, in France (Brenne, Auvergne, Normandy, Mercantour, Corsica), Overseas France (Guadeloupe, Martinique and Réunion), Africa (Guinea and Comoros) and Vanuatu (Santo).
Biologist Gabriele Uhl is Professor of General and Systematic Zoology at Greifswald University in Northern Germany. Her research focuses in Zoology, Evolutionary Biology and Animal Communication. The current projects in her lab concern reproductive behaviour and sexual selection, chemical communication, plasticity of behaviour and brain structures, as well as adaptation to new environments, with a focus on spiders. Apart from spider topics, the lab has also explored aspects of genital morphology and mating strategies in beetles, odonates, heel walkers, grasshoppers and flies. Uhl has also researched spider phobia in humans. She is Senior Editor for invertebrates for the Journal of Zoology.
Éliane Radigue is a French electronic music composer whose work has had a profound impact on extended technique and minimalism. She began working in the 1950s, studying with musique concrete pioneers Pierre Schaeffer and Pierre Henry, and her first compositions were presented in the late 1960s. Until 2000, her musical works were almost exclusively created on a single synthesizer, the ARP 2500 modular system and tape. Following a deep engagement with Tibetan buddhism that began in 1975, Radigue released some of her best known works, Adnos I, II, III (1975-1979), Jetsun Mila (1987) and Trilogy on Death, Intermediate States (1988-1993). Since 2001 she has composed mainly for acoustic instruments: first Naldjorlak, her grand trio for two basset horns and cello, and now the ever-expanding OCCAM OCEAN series of solo and ensemble pieces, which come together in orchestral formations. In honour of her contributions to electronic music and sound art, Radigue was awarded Prix Ars Electronica’s Golden Nica in 2006.
Peter Jäger is a German arachnologist, and current Head of Arachnology at the Senckenberg Research Institute and Natural History Museum in Frankfurt, Germany. He began collaborating with Tomás Saraceno in 2009, assisting the artist in identifying the best spider species (Latrodectus mactans or Black Widow spider) whose web could be used to develop what would later become Saraceno’s Spider Web Scan technique for creating 3d models of complex spider webs. Jäger’s research focuses on the taxonomy of spiders, and he has described more than 330 spider species as new to science – including Heteropoda davidbowie, which he named in honour of the singer David Bowie. In 2001, he received special media attention when he described the world’s largest known spider, Heteropoda maxima, a Laotian spider with a leg span of up to 30 cm. Jäger founded the Asian Society of Arachnology (2012) and hosted congresses in Germany and Laos. He was president of the German speaking Arachnological Society (2004–2010), council member of the International Society of Arachnology (2004–2010), and is associate editor (Zootaxa) and editorial board member (Acta Arachnologica Sinica, Arachnology letters). He is co-editor of the World Spider Catalog, German correspondent of the International Society of Arachnology and expert board member of ‘Spiders of Europe’.
Roland Mühlethaler holds a PhD in Zoology with an expertise in vibrational communication in insects and spiders. He works as a research associate at Tomás Saracenos’ studio in Berlin, where he is deeply involved in Saraceno’s research into vibrational signalling in spiders, and in the capacity of the spider/web to propagate vibrational signals. He previously worked as a biotaxonomist at the Natural History Museums in Basel, Cardiff, Paris and Berlin. His other research interests include the phylogeny and taxonomy of Hemiptera (mainly Cicadomorpha), and the functional morphology of Hemiptera.
Following up on the thoughts echoed and reverberated during the first day of encounters in October, a new set of voices coming from different disciplines, from network and social theory to art history and anthropology, will come together on November 23rd in Palais de Tokyo. They will open up the discussion towards what it is to be ON AIR, revealing the myriad material and immaterial, visible and invisible architectures we are embedded within, expanding the possibilities for analogical ways of thinking and being in the world. Breathing in and out, air becomes the binding medium through which everything transmits and is shared, from radio-communications networks to viral epidemics. These conversations, introduced by Bruno Latour, will investigate ways of decentralising and decolonising our way of thinking as a species, hoping to overcome human exceptionalism, towards new forms of activism and the building of common worlds that encompass multiscaled ecologies.
2:00 – 7:00 PM
Introduced by Tomás Saraceno and Rebecca Lamarche-Vadel and curated and moderated by Etienne Turpin and Anna-Sophie Springer. Keynote by Bruno Latour. With… d’bi young Anitafrika, Albert-Laszlo Barabasi, Bronislaw Szerszynski, Fernando Ferroni & Lisa Randall and Estelle Zhong Mengual.
7.30 PM – Onwards
Jamming with… Spiders
The Spider’s Canvas by Evan Ziporyn
Evan Ziporyn, composer and Director of the Center for Art, Science and Technology (CAST) at MIT, imagines a new piece that reads the spider’s complex web as a score: a three-dimensional canvas within which new compositions can emerge. Using both 2D images and a 3D model of a complex web generated using Tomás Saraceno’s Spider Web Scan technique—a method which forms the methodological basis of an ongoing collaboration with Markus Buehler (Head, Civil Engineering MIT)—the performers have created a sonified 3D spider/web instrument, whose music is written in the harmonic language of just intonation. An emergent musical composition translates the geometries of the spider/web into music. In this shared resonance, the sonified spider/web becomes an immersive soundscape through which we can wander.
With… Christine Southworth, bagpipes, guitars & eBows, visuals/projections, Isabelle Su, interactive environment design and real-time data processing and Evan Ziporyn, bass clarinet & EWI, real-time audio processing.
Albert-László Barabási is the Robert Gray Dodge Professor of Network Science and a Distinguished University Professor at Northeastern University, where he directs the Center for Complex Network Research, and holds appointments in the Departments of Physics and College of Computer and Information Science, as well as in the Department of Medicine at Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women’s Hospital in the Channing Division of Network Science, and is a member of the Center for Cancer Systems Biology at Dana Farber Cancer Institute. Barabási’s latest book is Network Science (Cambridge University Press, 2016). His work leads to the discovery of scale-free networks in 1999, and proposed the Barabási-Albert model to explain their widespread emergence in natural, technological, and social systems, from the cellular telephone to the WWW or online communities.
Fernando Ferroni is Full Professor of Physics at the University of Rome Sapienza and President of the Italian National Institute for Nuclear Physics (INFN) since 2011. Member of the Governing Board of Science Europe. He has focused his scientific studies on experimental particle physics, starting his research at CERN Laboratory at the LEP accelerator. Since 2004 he has been working on neutrino physics, with an experiment at the Gran Sasso Laboratories called CUORE and with an innovative project (Lucifer) on the same subject financed by the European Research Council as an Advanced Grant. He is the author of several hundreds of articles in scientific journals, he has served as member in numerous international scientific boards, and chaired many committees in the field of high energy physics. Being aware of the major role that science communication plays in nowadays society, it’s many years that he is committed to spreading and promoting the dissemination of scientific culture.
Rebecca Lamarche-Vadel is the curator of the Palais de Tokyo.
Bruno Latour is now emeritus professor associated with the médialab and the Experimental Programme in Political Arts (SPEAP) of Sciences Po Paris. Since January 2018, he is a Fellow at the ZKM | Center for Art and Media Karlsruhe for two years as well as professor at the Karlsruhe University of Arts and Design. He is member of several academies and recipient of six honorary doctorates, as well as recipient of the Holberg Prize in 2013. He has written and edited more than twenty books and published more than one hundred and fifty articles.
Lisa Randall is the Frank B. Baird, Jr. Professor of Science on the physics faculty and studies theoretical particle physics and cosmology at Harvard University. Her research connects theoretical insights to puzzles in our current understanding of the properties and interactions of matter. Randall’s research also explores ways to experimentally test and verify ideas and her current research focuses in large part on the Large Hadron Collider and dark matter searches and models. Randall has also had a public presence through her writing, lectures, and radio and TV appearances. Randall’s books, Warped Passages: Unraveling the Mysteries of the Universe’s Hidden Dimensions and Knocking on Heaven’s Door: How Physics and Scientific Thinking Illuminate the Universe and the Modern World were both on the New York Times’ list of 100 Notable Books of the Year.
Anna-Sophie Springer is an exhibition maker, writer, editor, and publisher. Since 2011, she directs the boutique publishing imprint K. Verlag in Berlin, advancing new forms of the “book-as-exhibition.” In her research-based practice, Anna-Sophie works with cultural and scientific archives and collections to produce postdisciplinary ecologies of attention and care. With Etienne Turpin, she is principal co-investigator of Reassembling the Natural, an exhibition-led inquiry into the natural histories of the Anthropocene, and co-editor of the intercalations: paginated exhibition series, published by K. Verlag and the Haus der Kulturen der Welt.
Bronislaw Szerszynski is Reader in Sociology at Lancaster University, UK. His research crosses the social and natural sciences, arts and humanities in order to situate the changing relationship between humans, environment and technology in the longer perspective of human and planetary history. His current work focuses on the Anthropocene and planetary evolution. As well as interdisciplinary academic publications, outputs also include mixed-media performances, art-science exhibitions and events and experimental participatory workshops. He was co-organiser of the public art–science events Between Nature: Explorations in Ecology and Performance (Lancaster, 2000), Experimentality (Lancaster/Manchester/London, 2009-10), and Anthropocene Monument (Toulouse, 2014-2015).
Etienne Turpin is a philosopher, founding director of anexact office, his design research practice based in Jakarta and Berlin, and co-founder and research coordinator of User Group Inc. LLP, a London-based, worker-owned cooperative building open source software for humanitarian coordination, disaster response, and environmental monitoring and advocacy. With Anna-Sophie Springer, he is principal co-investigator of Reassembling the Natural, an exhibition-led inquiry into the natural histories of the Anthropocene, and co-editor of the intercalations: paginated exhibition series, published by K. Verlag and the Haus der Kulturen der Welt.
d’bi.young anitafrika is a playwright-performer, director-dramaturge, and scholar. Among the many grants she was awarded with, she was one of 200 Canadian artists to receive a New Chapter Grant to produce her critically acclaimed environmental dub-opera entitled Lukumi: A Dub Opera. She is Founding Artistic Director of the Watah Theatre, and instigator of Spolrousie Publishing, a unique micro press which publishes original works by Black and QTIPOC creators. A Toronto Leadership Lab Fellow alumni, she is the originator of the creative leadership praxis and intersectional liberation framework—the Anitafrika Method—which has been utilized by The Stephen Lewis Foundation, The Banff Centre, U of T, MaRS, the Women’s College Hospital, among other institutions globally. She is the published author of seven books, nine plays, and seven dub albums, and she has toured her work internationally. Addressing issues of gender, sexuality, race, class, and the human experience through her vast field of artistic knowledge, she is currently pursuing postgraduate studies in London, UK.
Estelle Zhong Mengual is a former student at the ‘Ecole Normale Supérieure de Lyon,’ and possesses a doctorate in the History of Art (Sciences Po Paris). She is a member of the pedagogic commitee of SPEAP, Master in Arts and Politics, created by Bruno Latour at Sciences Po Paris. She is currently working on ways in which contemporary art can enrich our relationships and sensitivity to the world around us, in the context of the ecological crisis. She is the author of L’art en commun. Réinventer les formes du collectif en contexte démocratique (Presses du Réel, 2018) and the co-author of Esthétique de la rencontre. L’énigme de l’art contemporain (Seuil, 2018). She also co-directed the work Reclaiming Art. Reshaping Democracy (Presses du Réel, 2017).
On the occasion of his ON AIR carte blanche at Palais de Tokyo, an ongoing experiment with different assemblages, artist Tomás Saraceno and curator Rebecca Lamarche-Vadel introduce the “ON AIR live with…” days, three exceptional events, including dialogues, workshops and musical jams with spiders and other non-human agents. Each event will explore what it means to be on air, through different frameworks: the possibilities of becoming aerosolar; entanglements in multiscaled networks and webs; and encounters between human, arachnid and other non-human voices.
Talks and panel discussions with renowned thinkers and practitioners from various disciplinary and geographical horizons will be hosted together with Sasha Engelmann, Etienne Turpin, Anna-Sophie Springer and Filipa Ramos. Each event will be introduced respectively, by Sasha Engelmann for the Aerocene Community, Bruno Latour and Vinciane Despret, and will conclude with a highlight evening concert. These three musical performances are conceived as experiments in opening up channels for communication with spiders/webs, the cosmos and beyond, during which major figures of experimental music – Alvin Lucier, Evan Ziporyn and Eliane Radigue – propose new ways of coming together in a shared process of listening.
SYMPOSIUM – 3.00-7.30 PM
Introduced by Rebecca Lamarche-Vadel and Tomás Saraceno
Curated and moderated by Sasha Engelmann
With: Primavera de Filippi, Samuel Hertz, Karine Léger, Stavros Katsanevas, Derek McCormack, Tomás Saraceno, Nick Shapiro, Débora Swistun, Marie Thébaud-Sorger, Jol Thomson and Heinz Wismann.
Gathering together Aerocene practitioners, contributors and researchers with expertise in environmental justice, distributed autonomous organization, elemental philosophy, aero-acoustics, astrophysics and the histories of the science of air, the Aerocene Symposium will animate and intensify the ongoing experiments and questions of the Aerocene. The public of Paris is invited to join the Aerocene in these discussions as well as for an Aerocene flight (weather permitting) and a hands-on workshop with Museo Aero Solar. The symposium will favor generous dialogical formats that feature encounters with the materials and imaginaries of the Aerocene.
An effort in thinking, practicing, breathing, moving and experimenting together, the Aerocene Symposium will collectively unfold On Air at the Palais de Tokyo, Paris.
For full programme details, visit Aerocene
2 PM – 7 PM Museo Aero Solar
The Museo Aero Solar workshop proposes to construct an aero-solar sculpture by taping together found plastic bags. Museo Aero Solar, both a flying museum and an aero-solar sculpture, is a collective project initiated by Tomás Saraceno in 2007. This workshop is an open invitation for everyone to help re-purpose used plastic bags into a lighter-than-air museum.
As in a jam session, (space) time becomes a medium in which the energetic material of the ensemble generates its form, where events extend indefinitely into the past and the future. Voices are reduced into quietude, whilst others, those less heard are magnified.Who is talking now? ON AIR works to build a sensitive infrastructure to extend our cognition on what is lying hidden in plain sight, on what is on air today, physically and virtually, from particular matter to cosmic dust, from radio frequencies to sonic pollution.
ON AIR will resound as a not-yet-audible hymn for the illegible ties between beings, the unspeakable togetherness of earthly and cosmic phenomena, happening at the intersection of our sensorial environments, something which is impossible to describe, but maybe can be felt.
Tomás Saraceno’s research sits at the crossroads of art, science and architecture. This Carte Blanche will be his largest project to date, bringing a selection of his major works together with ambitious new productions that will transform Palais de Tokyo into a unique sensory experience.