The Aerocene Community

Aerocene is a project about friendship, about the relationship between air, universe, humans, sun, animals, plants, planets. It is a project showing how shared enthusiasm becomes the common ground to shared dreams. Where time becomes different, where energy and inspiration are endless resources. I can only
hope that this family will grow even bigger.
— Tomás Saraceno

Aerocene is an open project devoted to interdisciplinary artistic endeavours that seek to devise, experiment and distribute new modes of creativity and knowledge that reactivate the common imaginary towards post-fossil fuel ways of co-inhabiting the Earth, aiming to achieve an ethical collaboration with the atmosphere and the environment. Its activities manifest  in the testing and dissemination of lighter-than-air sculptures that become buoyant only by the heat of the Sun and infrared radiation from the surface of Earth. They float 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. Aerocene communicates a message of simplicity in a world of tumultuous geopolitical relations, reminding us that the air belongs to everyone and should not depend on any type of sovereignty: free from borders, free from fossil fuels.

We are very honoured to work with many brilliant people around the world.

Aerocene is comprised of a dedicated and diverse global community of artists, geographers, philosophers, thinkers, speculative scientists, explorers, balloonists, technologists, and dreamers. 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, and IAK architecture-related Art Institute at Technische Universität Braunschweig, TBA21, among others. Anyone is invited to share, collaborate, and perform actions in the communal creation and development of the new Aerocene age. 

In the last years many people have contributed in several ways to the project :

For their highly inspiring and thoughtful contributions: Boris Groys, Bronislaw Szerszynski, Derek McCormack, Kiel Moe, Nicholas Shapiro, Oliver Morton, Olivier Michelon, Pierre Chabard, Sanford Kwinter, Sasha Engelmann and Jol Thomson, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Centre for Art, Science and Technology – CAST and Leila Wheatley Kinney, and Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Science Department – EAPS, Ludovica Illari and Bill McKenna. As well as special mentions for the previous contributions to the Aerocene dialogue, to Nigel Clark, Etienne Turpin and Juan Enriquez.

Aerocene would like to thank Studio Tomás Saraceno for supporting the Aerocene community: Lars Behrendt, Ignas Petronis, and Alejandra Alonso de Noriega, Cara Cotner, Yelta Köm, Lisa Lurati, Lucy Patterson, Eleonora Pedretti, Daniel Schulz, Irin Siriwattanagul, Kotryna Slapsinskaite, Erik Vogler, Melina Wanie, as well as Veronica Lugaro, Claudia Melendez, Javier Rosenberg, and Duncan Anderson, Mateo Argerich, Stefano Arrighi, Paula Baptista, Fabiola Bierhoff, Sascha Boldt, Danja Burchard, Viola Cafuli, Saverio Cantoni, Viola Castellano, Tatiana Chavez,  Connie Chester, Marlene Coates, Filippo Corato, Carola Dietrich, Fernando Donoso, Manie Du Plessis, Friederike Femfert, Anna Garbuglia, Luca Girardini, Canice Grant, Peter Otto Haas, Martin Heller, Joshua Hoareau, Anna Holzapfel, Katja Kaiser, Georgi Kazlachev, Adrian Krell, Tobias Lange, Katre Laura, Sofia Lemos, Pepe Menéndez-Conde Nuñez, Roland Muehlethaler, Jaime Norambuena, Aurelia Nowak,  Tania Patritti, Martina Pelacchi, Marco Pittaluga, Adrian Porikys, Alfredo Ramos, Matthew Raven, Claudia Rech, Patrick Reddy, Sophie Rzepecky, Leonard Steidle, Sebastian Steinboeck, Desirée Valdes, Christophe Vaillant, Filippo Vogliazzo.

Special thanks for the development of the Aerocene website and its highly exciting materials to Ali Anwar III, Irin Siriwattanagul, and Vasily Sitnikov.

For the sensing devices connected to Aerocene solar sculptures developed for the Aerocene project, thanks to Lighter Than Air GmbH, Nick Shapiro from Public Lab, with additional support from Studio Tomás Saraceno. For the cut-down mechanisms for Aerocene solar sculptures, thanks to Lighter Than Air GmbH, Alexander Bouchner from IAK architecture-related Art Institute at TU Braunschweig, with support from Global Western.

For their assistance in making the Aerocene Gemini Free Flight Launch (27 August 2016) possible, special thanks to Nick Shapiro (Public Lab), Sven Steudte (Radioamateur), Thomas Krahn (Radioamateur), Alexander Bouchner, Cara Cotner, Adrian Krell, Daniel Schulz, Irin Siriwattanagul, and Kotryna Šlapšinskaitė (Studio Tomás Saraceno). As well as to Lars Behrendt, Daniel Dittmer, Ivanna Franke, Luca Girardini, Anna Holzapfel, Eleonora Pedretti, Nathaphon Phantounarakul, Adrian Porikys, Tomasz Stasiak, and Rirkrit Tiravanija.

To the participants of Aerocene Hack 1 at Imperial College Advanced Hackpace (28-30 October 2016), Exhibition Road, London, for their inspired contributions: Larasati, Elinor Merkier, Minwoo Kim, Kristof van der Fluit, Andy, Florian Tiefenbach, Lok Chun, Fan, James Formby, Evelien van Bokhorst, Marco Ghilardi, Rachel Yalisove, Elena Falomo, Ahmed Asiliskender, Yilan Lu     

From Imperial College Advanced Hackspace, London, Jing Sheng Pang, Audrey Gaulard, Kitty Liao, Sabine Weiss, and Raj Shah.

For the symposium as the first milestone of the solo exhibition at Palais de Tokyo in 2018: Jean de Loisy, Rebecca Lamarche-Vadel, Myriam Ben Salah, and all the team of Palais de Tokyo ( 

Solutions COP21, during United Nations Climate Change Conference COP21, 2015, Paris. Teams of Grand Palais and Artists4Paris Climate, Hopscotch and Public Systeme, and Didier Saulnier. As well as special thanks and appreciations for Laurence Dreyfus, Caroline and Eric Freymond.

For the invaluable involvement and collaborations: L’Observatoire de l’Espace, National Centre for Space Studies (CNES), Jean Marc Charbonnier, Philippe Cocquerez, Arnaud Deramecourt, Jean Evrard, Alain Hauchecorne, Gerard Letrenne.
For the long-term dialogue and exchange: Yasmil Raymond, Hans Ulrich Obrist, Daniel Birnbaum, Molly Nesbit, and Brown University Udo Kittelmann, Marion Ackermann, Ute Meta Bauer, Joseph Grima, Andrea Lissoni, Luca Cerizza, Sara Arrhenius, Agnes Husslein-Arco and Mario Codognato, Marianne Torp, Rutger Wolfson, Elizabeth Thomas and Phyllis Wattis, Jacob Fabricius, Jean-Paul Felley and Olivier Kaeser, Nikola Dietrich, Ellie Buttrose, Florian Matzner, José Roca, Theo Tegelaers, Adrian Notz, Friedrich von Borries, Ralph Rugoff, Anna Tilroe, Gayatri Uppal, Sabrina van der Ley and Markus Richter, Mohammad Kazem, Eva Scharrer and Jonathan Watkins, Pierluigi and Natalina Remotti, Caroline Eggel and Christiane Rekade, Marco Biraghi, Maurizio Bortolotti, Bert Theis, Juan and Patricia Vergez, Anne Strauss, Meredith Malone, Yona Friedmann, Nikolaus Hirsch, Peter Weibel, Filippo Garrone, Claudio Veckstein, Ciro Najle, Raqs Media Collective. 

For TU-Braunschweig, IAK Institute, where 160 students take the course to become pilots of the Aerocene fleet. For the professors that embrace the teaching and enrich it with the full variety of their practice: Alan Prohm, Bernd Schulz, Ilka Raupach, Ivana Franke, Sina Heffner, Michael Zwingmann, Natalija Miodragovic. And very special thanks to Sasha Engelmann and Jol Thomson for the Becoming Pilot seminar that for already three semesters we thought together.  This has opened so many ways of thinking and has inspired many exciting directions of research, many conversations, future aspirations… We like to especially thank our students Alexander Bouchner and Tomi Soletic who have made special contributions among this amazing group. We would like to thank Sasha Engelmann, specially for dedicating numerous years for her rich and thorough PhD research on Aerocene, her willingness and commitment to take part in different instantiations throughout this period of time, and the enrichment brought to the working field and practice.

Special thanks for their constant and continuous support for the development of Aerocene to Michael Braungart, Matthias Schuler, Walter Munk, Michael Kezirian, Iyad Rahwan, Jonathn Ledgard, Sara Dean, William Shubert. Red Cross Red Crescent and Pablo Suarez, Prof. Bruno Latour. 

For the amazing energy, support and trust towards the future, we would like to thank Francesca von Habsburg and Markus Reymann, TBA21 Academy, allies in the planetary care, who laid down the future paths in the Aerocene’s expedition to Solomon Islands, bringing us an opportunity to share and exchange ideas for the sake of the project with our three dear guests: Juan Enriquez, Nicholas Shapiro and Bill McKenna. As well as for Sam Campbell and Barney Broomfield who aided to document this fantastic journey. 

From the White Sands World-Record Setting Launch: The sun was so strong that one after the other we started to dive to the stars, we held each other to the earth, with sand bags, ropes and gloves…The access to the space seems open again, this time without rockets and tickets. Endless thanks to the board of White Sands launch: Rob La Frenais, Kerry Doyle, Karla Frausto, Michael Wyatt, Tom and Marija Miklousic, John Powell, Ewen Chardronnet, Nicola Triscott, Frederik Jacobi, Anthony Langdon, Astrovandalistas, Gravity by its Absence artists’ group, and Rubin Centre for the Visual Arts, as well as for everybody else who took part.

Museo Aero Solar community: Tell Andersson, Saga Asgeirsdottir, Natasa Bandelj, Simo Barbagallo, Hoxha Besart, Benedikte Bjerre, Christoph Blum, Bob Sleighs, Juan Camilo, Maria Giulia Cantaluppi, Renaud Codron, Marc Colombaioni, Rolf Degel, Vivana Deluca, Pablito El-Drito, Janis Elko, Fabrizio, Fani, Mara Ferreri, James Flaten, Gaia Fugazza, Giovanni Giaretta, Simon Gillard, Till Hergenhahn, Andria Hickey, Juan Camillo Jaramillo, Rasmus Johannsen, Theresa Kampmeier, Kim, Daniel Kohl, Oliver Kral, Dominik Mader, Eduardo Ernesto Marengo, Persichina Matteo, Matteo Mascheroni, Natalija Miodragovic, Mohamed Nageh, Mustapha Nageh, Dragusha Njomza, Marco Orlando, Osmani, Sabine Pahl, Eduardo Perez, Alberto Pesavento, Alice Pintus, Cristian Raimondi, Yasmil Raymond, Christiana Rekada, Barrak Reiser, Jacob Remin Sikker, Hannah Rosales, Iuri Rottiers, Hoti Rinor, Tim Rottiers, Matteo Rubbi, Michela Sacchetto, Hugo Santamaria, Lahu Saranda, Manuel Scano, Tean, Saverio Tozzi, Ujjval, Emek Ulusay, Alejandro Uribe, Mauro Vignando, Lionel Wolberger, Alberto Pesavento. We apologize if any name should be missing, please add it! 

As well the gratitude expressed to Joaquin Ezcurra, Paola Antonelli, Willow Brugh, Chris McKay, Bollinger + Grohmann Ingenieure, Manfred Hermann, Katherine Higgins, Juan Herreros, Alexander Bormann, Sven Steudte, Andreas Kunze, Dominic Michaelis, Laurent Besset, Caroline Boettner, Martin Saraceno, Silke Neumann, Camilla Berggren Lundell and Carlo Rizzo for their engagement and invaluable advice. 

For their restless help, the representative galleries: Andersen’s Contemporary, Tanya Bonakdar, Pinksummer Contemporary Art and Esther Schipper, with the special thanks to Claus Andersen and Christian Just Linde.


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All imagery on this website is copy Studio Tomás Saraceno, unless noted otherwise. We have made our best efforts to credit all authors accurately, and we are eager to correct mistakes that may appear.