Andersen's Contemporary Berlin
23 September - 14 November 2009
“By means of the image of foam you can show that the small forms protect us against fusion with the mass and the corresponding hypersociologies. In this sense, foam theory is a polycosmology.“
Peter Sloterdijk, Spheres III
Andersen’s Contemporary in Berlin is very pleased to present Tomas Saraceno’s Cloudy House, an exhibition comprising a cloud installation, sculpture, video and photographs.
Tomas Saraceno’s experimental works explore concrete visionary urban-planning and question our relationship to nature and natural phenomena on a truly global scale. His sculptures often resemble networks of floating cells or suspended habitats, including airborne gardens, floating bridges and large-scale models for futuristic dwellings. Combining visual elegance with determined and purposeful engineering, Saraceno’s ethereal sculptures challenge our experience of the three ecologies: the environment, human
subjectivity and the social landscape (Guattari).
Saraceno continues in the progressive traditions of visionary and interdisciplinary thinkers such as Buckminster Fuller, Gyula Kosice, Archigram and the Ant Farm Collective. His projects often propose an interrelational dependence between spaces and materials,
where the focus is on emphasizing an equilibrium between the eco-techno-scientific society and a spectrum of other potential spheres we may find ourselves coexisting within.
Complex geometric forms often found in nature are the building blocks for Saraceno’s airborne architecture. His works echo forms of the world. In his new installation Cloudy House, Saraceno is looking up, out, and around convention, workings with clouds as a starting point, as he continues in the vein of his visionary Air-Port-City, with an essential air of lightness.
Out of matte, white paper Saraceno has constructed light geometrical structures resembling those white plumes in the sky. Some of the polyhedronic structures are suspended individually by nylon wires, floating above the viewer’s head, others group together in an efficient structural integrity under the ceiling. The gallery becomes a domain of molecular and spherical consideration, where cluster-packed modules are gathered under the ceiling following the rule of the Weaire–Phelan foam packing structure.
As the earths clouds have the potential to both block and reveal the Sun from and to us, Saraceno’s too reveal and block. We are confronted with questions about contemporary society and its organization, for the potential of an efficient and healthy future, while simultaneously opening a space to loosen the fears we often harbor when grappling with this very topic.
The video installation El Mundo illustrates the so-called Bernoulli principle on a transparent inflatable world. The globe floats free in the air with a wireless camera attached to it, which transmits to a nearby video projector, projecting live images onto the gallery
wall. As the artist says: "After a few distracting moments the viewer understands that the projection on the wall is in fact monitoring real time in that very same room. The camera on the moving beach ball catches the viewer, who sees herself on the wall upside down, augmenting the perception of a world that has moved to another orbit. The world sometimes falls down or spins too fast but is soon floating again, in a new future orbit".
Also on display is a series of photographs that - following Saraceno’s practice - suggest a skyscape of the future. The so-called Iceland-series originated as an interactive installation at a natural hot water spring in Reykjavijk.
Saraceno’s continuing research and interaction with the world opens and considers a spectrum of spheres, whether spatial, political, ecological, scientific, playful, or otherwise ... be prepared to feel lighter than air.