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Exhibition Road Cultural Group announces first Commission to artist Tomás Saraceno

The Exhibition Road Cultural Group announces Aerocene as its first public commission, a project initiated by internationally acclaimed artist Tomás Saraceno.

Aerocene in London will be launched with the Aerocene Campus, taking place at the Royal College of Art on Saturday 26 November. (More information can be found here.)

Aerocene is an open-source project crossing boundaries between art, architecture and science. It is manifested in a series of air-fuelled sculptures that are able to float in the longest, most sustainable journey around the world without using fossil fuels, solar panels, batteries or artificial gases, maintaining their buoyancy only by the heat of the sun and infrared radiation from the surface of the earth. The project brings together an international community of researchers, scientists, activists, and many more, sparking discussion and exchange about crucial environmental issues that impact on the lives of everyone.

The commission to take the project to the next stage of its development, has been awarded by The Exhibition Road Cultural Group, one of the most powerful cross-cultural, educational partnerships in the world, which includes: Natural History Museum; the Science Museum; Victoria and Albert Museum; Imperial College London; Goethe-Institut London; Institut Français; the Ismaili Centre; Kensington Palace; Royal Albert Hall; Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea; Royal College of Music; Royal Commission for the Exhibition of 1851; Royal Geographical Society (with IBG); Serpentine Galleries; The Royal Parks; the Design Museum, and Christie’s South Kensington.

The Aerocene Campus will offer contributions from Tomás Saraceno and a line-up of distinguished researchers and thinkers from the arts and sciences. Among these are:  Bronislaw Szerzsynski, Reader in Sociology, Lancaster University; Derek McCormack, Associate Professor of Human Geography, Oxford University; Sasha Engelmann, Lecturer in GeoHumanities, University of London; Nick Shapiro, Open Air Fellow at the Public Lab, and Fellow at the Chemical Heritage Foundation in Philadelphia; Bill McKenna, researcher, Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences, MIT; Peter Adey, Professor Geography at Royal Holloway University, London; Andreas Philippopoulos-Mihalopoulos, Professor Law and Theory at the University of Westminster; Ronald Jones, Senior Tutor, Royal College of Art;

Tomás Saraceno described the project: “Inflated by air, lifted by the sun, carried by the wind, the Aerocene project questions and seeks answers to our current dependency on fossil and hydrocarbon fuels and pollution. I am delighted to take forward the next stage of the journey with the Exhibition Road Cultural Group, building on the co-operative work already developed through numerous collaborations.”  

The Exhibition Road Commission brings together leading international artists with scientists, researchers and creative thinkers around Exhibition Road to develop new, site-specific installations and interdisciplinary events across all the venues every two years. Following a competition, a jury of leading figures in the arts and sciences selected Tomás Saraceno as the first commissioned artist.

Carlo Rizzo, Founding Director and Programme Curator of the Exhibition Road Commission, said: “Tomás Saraceno is an artist who fully engages with the potential for dynamic thinking brought about by collaboration between scientists and artists. We are absolutely delighted that he has agreed to work with us on his inspirational project drawing on the extraordinary multi-disiciplinary powerhouse of the Exhibition Road Cultural Group. Saraceno’s work is emblematic of the world we now live in, where the beautiful, complex, interaction of artists and scientists is leading the way to a new future.”

Chris Cotton, Chair of the Exhibition Road Cultural Group, said: “The concept of working together as a multi-disciplinary group to develop ideas on a large scale, reflects the historic role of these institutions as pioneers of innovation and learning in science and the arts. It is here that we generate and share knowledge and hope to inspire the engineers, designers, scientists, musicians and artists of the future and together we welcome over 20 million visitors a year.  We are delighted that Tomás Saraceno has accepted our first Exhibition Road Commission.”

 To find out more about the Exhibition Road Commission, click here.

Aerocene Campus, Saturday 26 November 9.30 – 18.30 at Royal College of Art, Kensington Gore, London 

Presented by Exhibition Road Cultural Group

Admission free. Advance registration essential. To register via email contact

The Exhibition Road Commission was launched thanks to seed funding provided by the members of the Exhibition Road Cultural Group, the Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea, South Kensington Estates, Arts Council England and the Royal Commission for the Exhibition of 1851.

Founding Patrons: Nicoletta Fiorucci, Francesca von Habsburg, Maja Hoffman.

The Aerocene residency has been made possible thanks to the support and generosity of the Goethe-Institut, Imperial College Advanced Hackspace and the Royal College of Art.

For more information about the Aerocence Hack II or to participate, please visit the website.

For more information about Aerocene, please visit the website.


The Aerocene Explorer Starter kit contains a sensory devices pack with a photo/video camera and sensors to record air temperature, altitude, humidity, and air pressure. The sensory devices pack was developed for the Aerocene project in collaboration with Sven Steudte.

Tomás Saraceno. Aerocene Gemini, Free Flight, 2016

Courtesy the artist; Pinksummer contemporary art, Genoa; Tanya Bonakdar Gallery, New York; Andersen's Contemporary, Copenhagen, Esther Schipper, Berlin.

 © Photography by Tomás Saraceno, 2016

Tomás Saraceno - Aerocene 10.4 & 15.3 © Photography by Studio Tomás Saraceno, 2015

Tomás Saraceno - Aerocene 10.4 & 15.3 © Photography by Studio Tomás Saraceno, 2015

Tomás Saraceno - Aerocene © Photography by Studio Tomás Saraceno, 2015

Tomás Saraceno - Aerocene © Photography by Studio Tomás Saraceno, 2015