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Palais de Tokyo: On Air with Tomas Saraceno

Palais de Tokyo is located in Paris’s 16th arrondisement by the River Seine and since its inauguration in 2002 it is one of the main places where the most interesting and creative contemporary art works are exhibited. 

The Argentinian contemporary artist Tomas Saraceno’s exhibition On Air occupies the large site with various entities floating in the air: spider webs, radio waves, floating sculptures, sound waves. The exhibition starts with the ‘Webs of Attention’, real spider webs are watched as three dimensional sculptures inside the glass boxes. Floating sculptures or balloons, radio transmitted from a simple small rock, strings that make sound when they are touched, the whole exhibition is something to be experienced. He had previously put globes at the roof top of the Metropolitan Museum in New York where people walked inside them as if they were walking in the air. His work is an intersection of physics and art. 

Tomas Saraceno has always dreamt of building a floating museum. He has been living in Berlin for the past seven years; his studio, an entire flat of an old factory, has been the place of collaboration with various artists and collectives to work on his concept of Aerocene: an interdisciplinary artistic community initiated by Tomas Saraceno that seeks to devise new modes of sensitivity. They have been collaboratively developing, testing and launching Aerosolar sculptures that become buoyant only by the heat of the sun and infrared radiation from the surface of Earth. They find plastic bags, clean them, paint them, build huge canvases and send them to the sky to make aerial journeys. The artist sets the conceptual framework of his community following a theoretical framework to define our current era. Anthropocene is a word to define an epoch in which some human activity leaves an impact so great that it profoundly modifies terrestrial ecosystems. Some scientists maintain that the anthropocene, our current epoch that is marked by human impact on biodiversity and climate may have begun on 1945 with the detonation of the first atomic bomb. 70 years later at the same place the aerocene community realises a flight fare from fossil fuel or battery, by using the heat of the sun and the wind. 

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