Aerocene comes to the Exhibition Road for an interdisciplinary artistic project co-produced by the members of the Exhibition Road Cultural Group, gathering together 16 prestigious cultural and scientific institutions in London, among them Imperial College London, Natural History Museum, the Victoria and Albert Museum and Serpentine Galleries. For this occasion, Aerocene creates an collaborative research platform between Exhibition Road members and wider communities.
"Aerocene is to imagine a metabolic and thermodynamic transformation of human societies' relation with both the Earth and the Sun. It is an invitation to think of new ways to move and sense and live with the circulation of energy. And, it is a scalable process to repattern atmospheric dwelling and politics through open source ecology of practices, models, data and sensitivity to the more than human world. The Aerocene proposes airborne cities floating among clouds, just as the Earth floats in the cosmic plane."*
Aerocene is an open-source project for artistic and scientific exploration. Started from the vision of artist Tomás Saraceno, Aerocene is developing new solutions and technologies for sustainable Aerocene travel and living, with support from multiple collaborators and partners around the world. Aerocene is a movement, an invitation to shape a period of time, a new epoch. Aerocene is a response to – and a way to transcend – our current Anthropocene era.
Aerocene at Exhibition Road continues to develop a series of air-fuelled sculptures, built to achieve a carbon-emissions-free journey around the world, becoming buoyant only from the heat of the Sun and infrared radiation from the surface of Earth. Powered by the Sun and wind currents, a recent flight of the Aerocene “Gemini” traveled from Berlin to northeastern Poland a distance of 800 km without burning any fossil fuel!
Floating without burning fossil fuels, without using solar panels or batteries, and without helium, hydrogen, or other rare gases, the Aerocene sculptures hold a message of simplicity, creativity, and cooperation in a world of tumultuous geopolitical relations, reminding us of our symbiotic relationship with the Earth and all of its species. Tomás Saraceno holds the certified world record for the first and longest, fully solar-powered, tethered solar balloon flight. This record was achieved on 8 November 2015 in the White Sands desert, New Mexico, a site of geographical significance as the missile range where the first atomic bomb test was conducted.
Aerocene is comprised of a dedicated and diverse global community of artists, geographers, philosophers, thinkers, speculative scientists, explorers, balloonists, technologists, and more. The first public presentation of the project under the name of Aerocene was at COP21, the United Nations Climate Change Conference, at the Grand Palais, Paris in 2015. The Aerocene project’s primary collaborators and supporters are the Center for Art, Science & Technology (CAST) at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), CNES (French National Space Agency), CCK Argentina, Public Lab, The Goethe Institute, Radioamateur, Freifunk, IAK architecture-related Art Institute at Technische Universität Braunschweig, and TBA21, among others. Aerocene transcends boundaries between art and science and has become a visionary open participatory platform of knowledge production and distribution.
Aerocene together with Exhibition Road institutions announce an open call to join the Aerocene project for an extended collaborative hack to imagine and prototype the tools of our Aerocene future. We’re looking for developers, designers, artists, data scientists, creative technologists, and enthusiasts.
On Friday 28th October participants will be invited to a kick-off event at the Natural History Museum Lates for an introduction to the Aerocene project from Tomás Saraceno and members of his studio and a closer look at the challenges, technologies and resources available.
The hack will start on Saturday 29th, running through until Sunday 30th October at the Imperial College Advanced Hackspace (ICAH).
To find out more about the challenges, what to expect, time frames and how to apply, please visit the website. The application deadline is Monday 24th October.
Aerocene’s residency at the Goethe-Institut London as part of the Exhibition Road Commission has been made possible thanks to the support of members of the Exhibition Road Cultural Group, Arts Council England, South Kensington Estates and our Founding Patrons: Francesca von Habsburg, Maja Hoffmann and Nicoletta Fiorucci.
*The ideas come from the exchange between Bronislaw Szerszynski, Sasha Engelmann and Tomás Saraceno, previously expressed in “Becoming Aerocoslar,” 2015, published by 21er Haus - Belvedere, Vienna.