Fly around the world, free from borders, free from fossil fuels.


Aerocene is a multi-disciplinary project that foregrounds the artistic and scientific exploration of environmental issues. 

In the wake of the Anthropocene, Aerocene proposes a new epoch, one of atmospherical and ecological consciousness, where we together learn how to float and live in the air, and to achieve an ethical collaboration with the environment.

Comprised of a dedicated and diverse global community, Aerocene is an open platform which activities manifest in the development and testing of fossil and emissions-free sculptures floating in the air, in the distribution of open-source floating kits (Aerocene Explorer) and in the organisation of exhibitions, discussions and publications.

Aerocene sculptures become buoyant by the heat of the Sun and infrared radiation from the surface of Earth and floats without burning fossil fuels, without using solar panels and batteries, and without helium, hydrogen and other rare gases.

Inflated only by air, lifted only by the sun, carried only by the wind, towards a sustainable future.

Aerocene is made possible by the Aerocene Foundation, a non-for-profit organisation devoted to support interdisciplinary artistic endeavours that seek to devise, experiment and distribute new modes of creativity and knowledge for better futures.


travel around the Earth
using no other resources than the sun >>




On November 8 2015, the “D-O AEC” lifted up 7 passengers without any propane, hovering for about 2 hours & 55 minutes achieving two world records of the first and longest manned aerosolar flight

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White Sands (NM, United States), 2015


a backpack that can teach you how to fly.

The Aerocene Explorer is your personal tool for solar-powered atmospheric exploration: a tethered-flight starter kit offering a new way to sense the environment. Enclosed in a portable backpack is everything you need to float an Explorer sculpture and start exploring the skies.

Designed to engage participants in thinking-through- making activity, stimulate imagination and creativity, and impart information about solar balloon flight, thermodynamic physics, meteorological science, and art practices in a multidisciplinary way, the Explorer allows participants to draw signatures in, of and with the air, declaring independence from fossil fuels.

Like all Aerocene sculptures, the Explorer lifts off ground only using the heat from the sun, and floats without burning fossil fuels, helium, and other rare gases. 









You are invited to try out the Aerocene Explorer in its beta version and investigate a different model for living and floating in this century. Feel free to customise and use it as you like, with your community, neighbours, and friends. Using the Explorer's camera, you can document your experience and share it. What was your Explorer launch like? What issue in your area would you most like to shed some light on? Introduce us to yourself, your friends, your community. Your Explorer.

The Aerocene Explorer is currently being tested and developed by a passionate global community of artists, geographers, philosophers, thinkers, speculative scientists, explorers, balloonists, and technologists, and other enthusiasts.

Have you floated with the Explorer? Share your experience with us! Write to 




Need some inspiration for your upcoming Explorer flight? Check out how some Aerocene Explorers have been launched, hacked, and experimented with in the past.  

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Aerocene Tethered Flight at Mobile Utopia Conference

Lancaster, UK: 2 November 2017

On November 2nd Sasha Engelmann, Bronislaw Szerszynski and Grace Pappas performed an Aerocene Explorer tethered flight in Lancaster, UK, within the framework of a two-day "Mobile Utopia Experiment" called "The Drift Economy”, The experimental workshop and the conference session were devoted to exploring how humans might develop an ethical and sustainable relationship with the atmosphere through vernacular ways of sensing.

Aerocene floating at Forest of Imagination

Bath, UK: 29 June - 2 July 2017

Transforming a familiar public place into an inclusive space for contemporary creativity and intuitive play, Forest of Imagination offers an immersive experience for participants. During the festival, an Aerocene Explorer Sculpture was launched to further investigate the importance of our atmosphere, collaborating with forgotten supply chains - the Planet itself.




Aerocene Launch - New design and RCA Collaboration

Münchenberg, Germany: 23 September 2017

In a sand quarry out of Münchenberg, East Berlin, the tenacious Aerocene team had the chance to experiment with two new Aerocene balloon designs and, in addition, a series of sensitive objects developed by RCA student Grace Pappas has been tested.


AEROCENE Helianthus Free Flight

Schönfelde, Germany: 22 July 2017 

In a world made of boundaries, Aerocene  is working toward a demilitarization and decolonization of the sky, to build a community that will take to the air in the spirit of a new era, and raise a new awareness of the air we all breath. This is another attempt to float within the natural rhythms of the Earth and its atmosphere, by observing the ocean above us.

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Aerocene Argentina
Tata Inti - performance with eight aerocene explorer

6-7 August - Salinas Grandes - Jujuy 2017 with the support of CCK

Aerocene Explorer fly's in the Argentinean sky. Our exploration with the air and the power of the sun continues, we successfully launched eight of our explorers. All floating simultaneously, at the bottom of ocean of air,  creating signatures in the air. With Tomas Saraceno we move together with our community,towards  our commitment to a world free to move around and free of fossil fuels. 

#aeroceneargentina #aerocene #cck #tecnopolis #mediosycontenidos


Explorer launch and discussion

San Francisco, CA: 21 April 2017

Students from the "Cloud Cities, and Other Possibilities" course at California College of the Arts, led by their instructor Joseph Becker, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art's associate curator of architecture and design, successfully floated two Aerocene sculptures. 


motion tracking sensor

An Argentinian research station in Antarctica: 23 March 2017

Motion trackers developed by Alexander Bouchner (IAK-Braunschweig) were attached to two interconnected Explorers launched during a nautical journey to mark the first Antarctic Biennale. The motion trackers recorded the float patterns of the sculptures, which were converted into digital line drawings, “air signatures” on our proposed Declaration of Independence from Fossil Fuels.

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explorer trio launch

Schönfelde, Germany: 4 March 2017

As part of a larger Aerocene launch, three Explorer sculptures were tethered to each other for the first time. Remaining afloat for hours, the joined family of Explorers danced through the air, their movements beautifully choreographed by the push and pull of the winds.

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thermal imaging

Schönfelde, Germany: 4 March 2017

Like all Aerocene sculptures, Explorers rise into the air when the temperature inside them becomes warmer than outside. The temperature differential becomes acutely visible with the aid of an infrared camera, which was employed during this Explorer launch. 


aerocene collaborative hack 2

London, UK: 26-27 November 2016

Participants of Aerocene Hack 2 - young scientists, designers, and developers - were invited to join the Aerocene Campus symposium before settling into the Imperial College Advanced Hackspace for a productive session of ideation and prototyping of the Aerocene Explorer. 


aerocene collaborative hack 

London, UK: 29-30 October 2016

Young scientists, designers, developers, and artists joined Aerocene in the Imperial College Advanced Hackspace for a two-day period of intense collaboration to hack the Aerocene Explorer – grappling with code, electronics, and the vast possibilities of Aerocene exploration.

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air quality sensing

Schönfelde, Germany: 27 August 2016 

The Aerocene Gemini, two sculptures tethered together (one of which was an Explorer), floated to a highest altitude of 16,283 m (53,422 ft) and traveled a distance of of 605 km! Onboard during this free flight was the DustDuino air quality sensor, provided by Public Lab.

Want to add your launch or innovation to this page? Let us know! Write to us at