tomás saraceno composes a sundial of solar umbrellas + floating sculptures in miami beach
 

tomás saraceno composes a sundial of solar umbrellas + floating sculptures in miami beach

during miami art week 2018, argentine artist tomás saraceno presented ‘albedo’, an atmospherically-attuned installation created in collaboration with swiss watch manufacturer audemars piguet. located on the city’s waterfront and featuring reflective solar umbrellas and floating sculptures, the piece allowed for daily aerosolar performances that questioned how it would feel to breathe air in the post-fossil fuel era.


the installation is comprised of reflective solar umbrellas and floating sculptures
image © designboom

 

 

the berlin-based artist is no stranger to these types of questions as air is something that has been center stage at his practice. for ‘albedo’ — presented by audemars piguet as part of its annual art basel partnership in miami — saraceno created a large-scale temporal pavilion comprised of 40 reflective, out-turned umbrellas of different sizes that were aligned to create a hemispherical sundial. once set, the experimental structure collected solar energy and used it to lift and suspend the ‘aerocene’ explorer in the air — a floating sculpture created by the artist in collaboration with the aerocene foundation.

 

40 reflective, out-turned umbrellas were aligned to create a hemispherical sundial
video © designboom

 

 

initiated in 2015, ‘aerocene’ is conceived as a collective endeavor to raise awareness about the plight of the earth’s atmosphere and proposes imaginative solutions to rid the world of fossil fuels. ‘aerocene’ materializes as lighter-than-air sculptures kept afloat by the heat of the sun and radiation from the surface of the earth, along with the development and dissemination of further aerosolar technologies, undertaken by the community.


the piece allowed for daily aerosolar performances throughout the week
image © designboom

 

 

furthermore, visitors were invited to participate in the immersive artwork, which hosted performative experiments in tune with miami’s sunny december weather. the solar umbrellas were also used to harness energy for a solar cooking station, which took place daily in the mornings throughout the week. chefs on site cooked and served vegetables roasted entirely from power collected by the installation.


the experimental structure harnessed solar energy
image © designboom

 

 

tomas saraceno’s ‘albedo’ — a latin word for ‘white’ and implying the extent to which an object reflects light— imagines a new aerial infrastructure that challenges and redefines a global right to mobility, while demonstrating that power is possible without fossil fuels.

 

‘the sun is so strong with climate change and global warming, and this project can help us redirect the weather dependency of human beings in a way that also helps end our dependence on fossil fuel,’ commented saraceno. ‘we’re being very ingenious with things people have at home, and we put all of the instructions online. it’s not about marketing a product or people buying it; you can do it with your own umbrella.’


the solar umbrellas were also used to harness energy for a solar cooking station
image © designboom

 

 

‘solar energy and the terrestrial winds become the medium of communication, as aerosolar activities reveal how we can fly, cook and cool the earth together, with only the power of the sun. rising with the daily solar rhythms, the ‘aerocene explorer’ takes our projective imaginations skywards, whilst ‘albedo’s’ transformed umbrellas reflect our attention to new modes of nourishing each other, and planet earth. an effort in thinking, practicing, breathing, moving, and experimenting together, the ‘aerocene’ activities collectively transpire potential methodologies for energetic shifts of epoch-making scale.’


chefs on site cooked and served vegetables roasted entirely from power collected by the installation
image © designboom


the project is conceived as a collective endeavor to raise awareness about the plight of the earth’s atmosphere 
image © designboom


visitors to the installation were invited to walk around the hemispherical sundial and engage with the artwork
image © designboom


the aerial infrastructure seeks to challenge and redefine
a global right to mobility
installation views and aerocene performances on the occasion of ‘audemars piguet presents tomás saraceno for aerocene’ at art basel miami, 2018. courtesy aerocene foundation. image by aerocene foundation licensed under the open source creative commons cc by-sa 4.0


‘aerosolar activities reveal how we can fly, cook and cool the earth together, with only the power of the sun’
image © designboom


image © designboom


aerocene drawing, 2015. courtesy aerocene foundation
image by aerocene foundation licensed under the open source creative commons cc by-sa 4.0

 

 

project info:

 

title: albedo

artist: tomas saraceno

in collaboration with: audermars piguet and art basel

location: miami, florida, USA

 

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