During the end of 2015, “Aerocene – Around the world to change the world”, an open project by Tomás Saraceno was presented at Grand Palais and Palais de Tokyo during the United Nations Climate Change Conference COP21. In the week spanning December 4 – 11 visitors to at Grand Palais in Paris, France, were able to admire the gigantic Aerocene sculptural installation, floating above the COP21 main conference venue.

The material realization was surpassed by the message it bore: Its aesthetic form followed a both utopian and real idea of open source force of movement. Inflated by the air, lifted by the sun, carried by the wind, the Aerocene project questions and seeks answers to our current and troublesome dependency on fossil and hydrocarbon fuels and pollution – the topics that place Aerocene at the core of the United Nations Climate Change Conference COP21 topical framework.

Around the world to change the world

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

In a world divided by geopolitics, Aerocene calls for participation and do-it-together actions. Crossing the frontiers between art, science and education, it becomes a visionary and open platform of shared knowledge. Thus it seeks for the deep understanding of our planet and all its physical, natural and social entanglements in order to project new ways of how we can move, dwell and be-together here on Earth.

For COP21 Paris, the artist presented the first Aerocene prototype at Grand Palais that will be able to circumnavigate the earth many times. At Palais de Tokyo, a symposium and a demonstrative workshop was organized, and a series of actions and collective performances, based on open-source collaborative principles, took place. Conformed participants of three panels’ event included Leila W. Kinney (MIT CAST), Marion Ackermann (Kunstsammlung NRW, K21 Düsseldorf), Oliver Morton (The Economist), Bronislaw Szerszynski (Lancaster University) and others.

Aerocene is an extraordinary work of art that is at once a sketch of a cutting-edge scientific laboratory for the environment, a technical and collaborative challenge and a committed work of art. The objective of this ambitious project, imagined by the Argentine artist Tomas Saraceno, is to float in the stratosphere, between planes and satellites, an open data climate watch, providing data and images in real time. To achieve this, the artist has imagined an innovative machine capable of carrying out "the longest thermodynamic flight" around the world, i.e. relying solely on the heat of the sun (without solar panels), the earth's infrared and natural physical processes. This sculptural "science fiction" will be presented in prototype form in the nave of the Grand Palais. At the same time, a symposium and workshop will be held at the Palais de Tokyo on the circulation of energy and its "poetic, ethical and political" implications.

LeMonde.fr