Inspired by the work of Dominic Michaelis, an English architect and inventor who came up with the technology for a solar-powered hot air balloon, Poetic Cosmos of the Breath is a time-based, experimental, solar dome that takes flight only under certain climatic conditions. It uses deceptively simple materials: a paper-thin foil accompanied by a few sand bags, and a handful of participants to produce a startlingly ethereal, shimmering effect. Staged at dawn, as temperature conditions naturally shift, air inside the balloon is heated by a greenhouse effect and the lightweight material slowly lifts off the ground completely unaided by machines or electrical power. At the same time, sunlight cast through the material creates a vibrant rainbow-tinged iridescent glow. Firstly commissioned by Arts Catalyst in 2007 as a performative action at Gunpowder Park in Essex, the installation was later presented in 2013 at “Mobile M+:Inflation!”, Hong Kong as a temporary event occurring periodically during the show.
Tomás Saraceno (b.1973, Argentina), lives and works in Berlin.
Photo Credits: Tomás Saraceno
© Shota Matsumoto, 2012
After attaining his architecture degree at Universidad Nacional de Buenos Aires in Argentina, Saraceno received postgraduate degrees in Art and Architecture from Escuela Superior de Bellas Artes de la Nación Ernesto de la Carcova, Buenos Aires (2000) and Staatliche Hochschule für Bildende Künste - Städelschule - Frankfurt am Main (2003). Saraceno's oeuvre could be seen as an ongoing research, informed by the worlds of art, architecture, natural sciences and engineering; his floating sculptures and interactive installations propose and explore new, mindful ways of inhabiting and perceiving the environment.
In 2009, he attended the International Space Studies Program at NASA Ames in Silicon Valley, CA. The same year, Saraceno presented a major installation at the 53rd Biennale di Venezia, and was later awarded the prestigious Calder Prize. In the last years, Saraceno’s work has been exhibited extensively in international solo and group presentations such as Aerocene at Solutions COP21, Grand Palais, Paris (2015); Arachnid Orchestra. Jam Sessions at NTU Centre for Contemporary Art Singapore (2015); Le Bord des Mondes, at Palais de Tokyo, Paris (2015); Becoming Aerosolar, 21er Haus, Vienna (2015); Cosmic Jive. Tomás Saraceno: The Spider Sessions, Museo d’Arte Contemporanea di Villa Croce, Genova (2014); In Orbit, K21, Düsseldorf(2013–ongoing); Tomás Saraceno on the Roof: Cloud City, Roof Garden Installation, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York (2012); In orbit at Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-WestfalenK21 in Düsseldorf (2013-ongoing) and On Space time foam at Hangar Bicocca in Milan (2012-13), amongst others. Saraceno’s work is included in the collections of The Museum of Modern Art, New York; SFMOMA, San Francisco; Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; Nationalgalerie, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Berlin;Museum für Moderne Kunst, Frankfurt; The National Gallery of Denmark; Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art, Brisbane, Australia, and Istanbul Modern Art Museum, Istanbul, Turkey.
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