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tomàs saraceno: on space time foam   a billowing aerial landscape
original content
nov 01, 2012
tomàs saraceno: on space time foam a billowing aerial landscape


‘on space time foam’ by tomàs saraceno
image © alessandro cocco

 

designboom met with argentinian artist tomàs saraceno to discuss his latest work ‘on space time foam’ on show at the
hangar bicocca in milan, italy until the 3rd of february, 2013. saraceno is well known for conceiving large-scale aerial artworks,
with this most recent iteration at the hangar, curated by andrea lissoni, no exception – a multi-layered installation of translucent PVC
membranes suspended 24 meters above the ground.

 

informed by the tradition of 20th-century utopian architecture the project is an extension of saraceno’s earlier project ‘cloud cities’
which designboom covered here – articulating saraceno’s interest in the desire to create self-sufficient aerial structures that can be
inhabited by people with a low environmental impact. the billowing landscape is made up of various levels where each one supports a
different atmospheric climate, this air pressure then reacts to the movement and clambering of its visitors. every step, every securing grasp
feeds the artwork in a unique way – a symbiotic relationship between user and structure, one cannot survive without the other for the concept to truly function.
the work can only be sincerely understood through meaningful interaction, one cannot anticipate the experience with ‘on space time foam’
until faced with the prospect of its influence – a visitor can move from a feeling of complete liberation to allegorical suffocation –
surprise, delight or fear without knowing when.

 

the installation can be considered a product of research into quantam and string theories that assert the elemental component of human existence.
generating form and concept based on the subatomic planck realm – where physical theories of wormholes and multiverses exist –
to mimic what can be described as an elastic membrane which can curve, warp, stretch and contract. the work, which required months of testing,
will be continued with a project saraceno will realize throughout a residency at the massachusetts institute of technology (MIT) and in a later version,
‘on space time foam’ is expected to become a floating biosphere above the maldives islands that is made inhabitable with solar panels and desalinated water.

 

the work is a cohesive, extraordinary culmination of the artist’s fascination and knowledge of airborne biospheres –
merging theoretical frameworks and knowledge from engineering, physics, chemistry, aeronautics and materials science for a greater insight
into not only future societies, but the human condition.

 


a video showing visitors interacting with the artwork
video © designboom

 

 


the billowing landscape is made up of various levels where each one supports a different atmospheric climate
image © alessandro cocco

 

 


the concept is informed by the tradition of 20th-century utopian architecture
image © designboom

 

 


the work articulates saraceno’s interest in the desire to create self-sufficient aerial structures that can be inhabited by people with a low environmental impact
image © designboom

 

 


every step, every securing grasp feeds the artwork in a unique way
image © designboom

 

 


the installation can be considered a product of research into quantam and string theories that assert the elemental component of human existence
image © designboom

 

 


in the future, ‘on space time foam’ is expected to become a floating biosphere above the maldives islands that is made inhabitable with solar panels and desalinated water
image © designboom

 

 


the workwill be continued with a project saraceno will realize throughout a residency at the massachusetts institute of technology (MIT)
image © designboom

 

 


image © designboom

 

 


viewing the artwork from ground level
image © designboom

 

 


the work is a multi-layered installation of translucent PVC membranes suspended 24 meters above the ground
image © designboom

 

 


image © designboom

 

 


tomàs saraceno
portrait © designboom

 

 


designboom discusses with tomàs saraceno his latest work ‘on space time foam’
video © designboom

 

 

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