Tomás Saraceno’s gravity-defying installations are sandboxes for the dreaming mind. For In orbit (2013), reality is literally suspended as people walk through the sky. On the piazza floor of the K21 Ständehaus, a public arts space located in Düsseldorf, Germany, people observe the scene 20 meters above them: bodies bouncing from floating spheres, swimming through the air, exploring the three levels of mesh.
In orbit merges the delicacy and intricacy of a spider web with the functionality and minimalism of a modern home. Saraceno, who studied art and architecture in Argentina, worked with engineers and arachnologists to realize the 2,500 m2 piece.
Saraceno is interested in borders, places and spaces; specifically their autonomy and relation to human reaction or interaction. In On the Roof: Cloud City (2012), visitors of New York City’s Metropolitan Museum rooftop garden climb through a geometric structure constructed of transparent and reflective materials. The mirrors give the illusion that clouds are resting on the ground and people are lying in the sky. The earth and the atmosphere become interchangeable. Like a Cubist installation artist, Saraceno alters our relationship with space, time and matter.
Saraceno has shown work in several different countries, stating in his artist biography that he “lives and works in and beyond the planet Earth.” One of his latest ideas is a skyscraper that wind could lift into the air, and suddenly everyone would be working in the sky– another step toward an “aerosolar becoming.”
His dedication to involving the public in his futuristic, limitless exploration produces childlike wonder, and a hope that ‘if only I could fly’ really is attainable.
Text by GRETA RAINBOW