Museo Aerosolar Reconquista

Story and impressions of the work process

By Carlos Almeida

At a time when our society is hurt and divided, the mottos: Work free from social and human borders and take advantage of the energy generated by community work, were good guides for the incubation of Museo Aero Solar “Reconquista”.

With these objectives in mind, a group of puppeteers and visual artists gathered in the academic space “Inflatable Laboratory”, decided to invite social groups that for some reason were exposed to different situations of social vulnerability to join the project.

We chose to express ourselves from what is usually considered as waste, from what is despised, from what does not manifest at first sight the possibility of becoming an artistic object.

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Perhaps those who contributed most to making the construction of this great sculpture possible were precisely the people and groups in the most vulnerable situations.

Most of the bags that make up the Museo were rescued from the waste that arrives from Buenos Aires to the Bella Flor urban recycling cooperative, which is located in the town of José León Suárez, Buenos Aires. This highly contaminated and vulnerable region is called “Reconquista River Zone”, hence the name of our Museo.

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In the same area of Reconquista River, very close to the facilities of Bella Flor Cooperative, is the North Penitentiary Complex, where the San Martín University Centre (CUSAM) is located. The CUSAM is a university centre dependent on UNSAM, where prisoners and prison guards can study together in an unprecedented experience. Women and men.

These two spaces, where daily life is very difficult to face, were the epicentres of the construction of the “Reconquista”. Approximately two hundred people have worked on the construction of the Museo:

  • Workers from the Bella Flor Urban Recycling Cooperative
  • Students deprived of their ambulatory freedom who are part of the CUSAM community
  • Teachers, students, graduates and management staff of the UNSAM Institute of Arts
  • Professors and students of the Institute of Architecture and Urbanism UNSAM
  • Teachers and young students from secondary schools in the area
  • People who independently joined the initiative by contributing bags
  • Recyclers, puppeteers, sociologists, anthropologists, circus artists, dancers, documentary makers, technicians, visual artists, philosophers, architects and enthusiastic people who joined.
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We set out to build an Aero Solar Museo from the slogans generously shared by Tomás Saraceno and his team on Aerocene’s website. We set the objective of making the big sculpture by previously building a 300 square meter sheet, equivalent to a 10 x 30 meter rectangle, with bags or material that had already had some kind of previous use.

More than half of the material that makes up the Museo Reconquista was rescued from the mountains of rubbish that circulates daily in the facilities of the Bella Flor urban recycling cooperative. We also appealed to friends and family who would like to donate bags. We detected in our community that in general young people and teenagers do not usually keep plastic bags in their homes, it was easier to receive them thanks to the contribution of older people.

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It is important to highlight that the workers of the Bella Flor Cooperative dedicated a lot of time, effort and joy in the recovery of bags for this purpose and they selected them thinking about the colours and formats that were most attractive to them for the construction of the Museo. After that enormous work they also spent several days cleaning and gluing bags.

Two special mentions are due to the plant coordinator Nora Rodríguez, who proposed the name “Reconquista” and considered that one of the activities to be carried out by the work cooperative was artistic production, because both she and her team had a lot to express from that place. The other special mention goes to Ernesto “Lalo” Paret, a great territorial articulator who understands and promotes expression through art in the processes of social reconstruction.

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At this point it is important to mention the other driving idea of the project: The small, the oppressed, the individually and socially depressed can be transformed and generate a sense of expansion when they manage to take AIR in a communitarian way. We like the metaphor of the flattened Museo when it is placed on the floor before being set up, in relation to the air-filled, expanded, vital and moving Museo.

In order to make the 300 square metre sheet more concrete, we proposed to build, with each group that participated, sheets of approximately 50 square metres. Each day of work lasted approximately three hours and ended with a game of raising the newly constructed sheet of paper between all of us, bagging air and, when we came down, building a “bubble” where we all stayed inside and there… we sang, said poetry to each other, laughed and played freely.

Both the finished Museo and these previous instances of play are spaces of ephemeral habitability, meeting atmospheres, spheres of air.

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Another slogan that crossed the construction process was that the participants had the possibility of writing, drawing and intervening in the sheets as they wished, expressing what they wanted, in absolute freedom, without any slogans and without any limits. This experience had its most impressive point in the CUSAM where the students deprived of their ambulatory freedom used the possibility of expressing themselves by writing on the plastic with extreme dedication, care and depth.

As the sheets were being built and reached our work base on the UNSAM Campus, the team of puppeteers and visual artists from the Inflatable Laboratory chair brought them together, trying to build a logic in the combination of colours, textures and written interventions.

The whole assembly process was guided by two models, one folded with the final shape of the tetrahedron and the other with the open rectangle and the possibility of observing it from both sides, which guided us to the position where each sheet could be placed.

These objects were very useful to explain to the people who joined the project what the final shape of the object we were building was going to be and it was also useful for the folding and final assembly stage.

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The first assembly of the Museo was carried out inside a large circus tent that the University has on its Campus. We enjoyed living in and observing this wonderful and enormous object. That day, a cultural anthropology class was held inside the Museo and then we made the object independent from the air entry point so that the puppeteers could manipulate it from inside by means of some threads tied to the internal vertices and generate movements through the space. The object took on a life of its own… It was an incredible experience. That moment was very well recorded by Joaquín from Aerocene Argentina.

The first public and open-air installation was carried out in an open space on the Campus as part of the First International Congress of Art and Science “The Skies” organised by UNSAM. The following stagings took place on a rugby field located inside the prison complex, in a shed where the Museo was converted into a classroom for a philosophy class, and in other sectors of the Campus where it was set up for repairs.

The Museo Aero Solar Reconquista is a collectively owned object that will continue to receive the written interventions that the people who observe it or live in it wish to make and will remain available to the whole community to be mounted wherever a team of people has the desire to do so.

We know that a moment will come when the fragile material that makes up the object and requires permanent repairs will have already completed its life cycle. At that moment we will make a final survey of everything written and drawn on it and surely in some singular ceremony it will be given back to the Bella Flor Cooperative to enter a recycling process. It sounds sad… but we know that this material, added to the work of so many people, has allowed us to recycle and expand our emotions and our minds.

We thank Tomás Saraceno, Joaquín Ezcurra, Maxi Laina, Dalia Maini, Sasha Engelmann and all the aeronauts who through this open source initiative have inspired us and allowed us to go through some moments of our lives with a little less “gravity”.

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Aerocene Albedo

AEROREFLECTOR MANUAL

The Aeroreflector invites a collective turn towards the most important energy source for earthly life, the Sun. In positioning our tools-for-change towards it, we enter into an active multi-directional relationship with our brightest shining star, forming an act of hope-filled togetherness and solidarity with the Earth’s natural surface reflectivity, known as albedo. Based on a truncated pyramid concept developed long before the Anthropocene, the parabolic structure of the Aeroreflector reveals generational connections across various cultures, materialising methodical parabolic techniques, essentially formulating a solar thermal collector for heating. The concept of concentrating light using curved mirrors has historically helped civilisations to use collective efforts to heat, cook, and to share meals from renewable energy sources, collaborating with simple forms of abundant elemental energies instead of the extraction of commodity fuels for combustion-based process of heat generation, at the expense of all natural phenomena, ourselves included. In becoming more familiar with direct solar energy, discovering the warmth from this life-providing star and the ocean of air through which it transmits, we can rearticulate the way energy and heating power has been (ab)used since the dawn of a human-influenced geologic age. Turning our attention to new circular modes of nourishing each other and the planet simultaneously, we enter into a renewed reflective practice; one in which we re-attune to the Earth, adhering not only to ourselves but interplanetary rhythms, other species and nature itself too. Through this multidisciplinary exchange, we collectively attempt to understand how the sun made us, and what the sun could make of us, if we begin to sense it differently.

THE AEROREFLECTOR AND ITS PARTS

1 - ATTUNE TO THE WEATHER

If the sun doesn’t shine, we adjust, collectively embodying a practice of planetary attunement.

2 - UNSCREW THE HANDLE

​Be careful: smooth and slow moves.
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3 - GET YOUR FOUNDATION TOGETHER

​Following the form of emissions-free parabolic solar cookers, attach the four-peg support structure to the base positioned at the central focal point of the parabola.​

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4 - ATTACH YOUR SOLAR POT

This central focal point is where maximised solar energy is captured. Place your pot into the warming embrace of the four-peg structure.

5 – EXTEND YOUR TOOLS

Attach the spoon/fork supplied to the unhinged handle, making it an handy-long tool to protect your hands from the heat emanated by the Aeroreflector.

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6 – MAKE USE OF THE MOST ABUNDANT SOURCE OF ENERGY ON EARTH – SOLAR ENERGY

A transparent heat trap around the pot allows sunlight to enter whilst also enclosing the heat. The reflecting surface around capture extra sunlight from an area about three times as big as the pot.

7 - WARMING INSTRUCTIONS

Set the entire structure on a dry, level surface in direct sunshine, away from potential shadows. Put ingredients in the pot. Turn every 15 min to the rhythm of the Sun’s movement. If the weather is optimal, you can even boil or barbecue your food.

IMPORTANT

Never leave the umbrella unattended; do not place your hand directly in the focal point.

Subverting the individualised functionality of the umbrella as a tool for self-protection from the rain or rays of Sun, the Aeroreflector’s inversion transforms the umbrella into a speculative tool for communal activity and aerial attunement. The Aeroreflector joins the Earth’s surface albedo in redirecting the energy of the sun away from the surface, oceans and atmosphere of our Planet, solidarising ourselves with this natural process that maintains the thermodynamic balance of the Earthly system, which is increasingly.

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In the age of the Anthropocene, reframing the use of the umbrella invites us to enter not only a reflective practice in communication with the sun, but to also further reflect on the extractive relations of our fossil fuel milieu, whose inherent inequalities proliferate into the air, creating a human-driven thermodynamic shift that has redefined the life-giving energy of the Sun as a threat, experienced by the consequences of Earthly warming.

Aerocene Albedo, 2018
Installation views and Aerocene performances on the occasion of ‘Audemars Piguet presents Tomas Saraceno for Aerocene’ at Art Basel Miami, 2018.

Courtesy Aerocene Foundation.

Creative Commons License
Image by Aerocene Foundation licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

For more information contact us at info@aerocene.org.

Marble Breeze or the politics of the troposphere

Marble Breeze

or the politics of the troposphere

Created by

Adrien Rigobello: Project Manager, Strategic Designer (electronics, cartography)
Waèl Allouche: Creative Director
Paula Echeverri Montes: Strategic Designer (open data)
Paul Carneau: Strategic Designer (electronics)
Tim Leeson: Strategic Designer (weather data)
Tariq Heijboer: Graphic Designer and Editor of the booklet

Together with Aerocene, thr34d5 has invited 15 participants to a free experimental workshop from Nov. 19th to 25th 2018, in the context of Tomás Saraceno‘s Carte Blanche exhibition in Palais de Tokyo, Paris.

YOU CAN HAVE A LOOK AT THE LECTURES THAT WERE GIVEN DURING THE WORKSHOP HERE


DOWNLOAD THE PUBLICATION EDITED BY TARIQ HEJBOER HERE

From open data de-encryption to measurement instrument making, the Marble Breeze reveals itself at its many scales and shapes. As agents of society, we want to understand the hidden-to-our-senses complex composition of the omnipresent, yet often ignored, surrounding matter that is air, to engage in the politics of the troposphere.Such as a cone can be defined by its various profiles (circle, ellipse, point,…), we approach reality by aggregating various points of view. The amorphous and subjective materiality of air is explored with each agent’s sensitivity, unrolling the folds of reality. We design our own instruments to communicate our impressions of the world. This process is essential to us to understand the Anthropocenic reality and create a variety of semantics for it. We are a legion – defending a post-Anthropocentric philosophy.The Marble Breeze experimental workshop was all about developing a material sensitivity to air, and developing a sensitive approach to its complexity, though the process of instrument design and cartography.

– adrien rigobello

Acknowlegements

thr34d5 team would like to thank Aerocene for the trust and support during the whole process, and for making possible the production of the final booklet! Namely, we would like to thank a lot Camilla Berggren Lundell and Grace Pappas.

We would also like to thank Palais de Tokyo for the perfect conditions and help that they gave us, especially Simon Bruneel!

We are thanking very much Ewen Chardonnet for his help in flying the Aerocene sculptures!

And with thr34d5 and Tariq we would like to thank all the participants for boarding with us in this experimental workshop that went very well! Amazing discussions and so much energy, we are very glad to have had the chance to share this time and space with you all!

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AIRmonica

hear the harmony of the air

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We want to hear the harmony of the Air and see its lifeforms, through the musical game of gases and showing bacterial growth as 3D objects.

It always starts on a personal level, everyone grew bacteria in their kitchen. The sample became a nudge, as we live in a shared environment our habits affect its form and create a “landscape” in multiple scales.


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DARK MATTER

being adrift

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Leaves and balloons drift in the breeze …

And dark matter is the ultimate drifter. In modern cosmology, the only force acting on it is gravity. That means it is in free fall, and like an astronaut in orbit, it feels no forces. Hypothetical dark-matter beings might be able to feel tidal forces …


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LISTEN

air as transmitter

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The air is the transmitter of sound, but we can’t see it. How can we represent sound without air? Does the sound has an image, a material representation?
We decided to record the sound around the Palais de Tokyo, taking advantage of the protest in Paris transmitting reflection on politics expressed through anger.

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Weather data


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design semantics

A media is a map,

a map is a language.

The post-anthropocentric narrative requires the adoption of a new language, our own, moving the frontiers of the medias of the existing worlds. To challenge the existing  mapping rules we are adopting linguistic’s semantic.
Such as a world map is structured by geographical areas, or as the first TV Image of Mars by the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory is made of a matrix on an assembly of stripes, the syntax of a map is its context, it is the structure of the information.

A morphology can be a 2D representation, such as dots on a map, or a 3D structure, such as the cubes in the Speelhuis architectural project by Piet Blom. How, within the structure, does the information unravel? How does it inscribe itself?

The lexicon, or vocabulary, is the scope of colors on a map for example. It is an additional layer to the morphology. It can fit within the color codes suggestions provided by NASA – unifying the information communication between maps; it can also be challenged and become blurry, imprecise, and participative. Turned into a gradient of textures for our other senses such as basses to highs, rough to smooth.

Then comes the phonology, the accent, the sub-languages. The designer’s intent can be retrieved in this form – it evolves through time and is culturally situated. For sure, it can be neutral and  standardizing, we wish to see it contrasting and taking a stand.

– adrien rigobello

4 March Schönfelde Launch – Thermal Imaging

4 March 2017 Schönfelde Launch: 51 Pegasi b, Schellin, and an Explorer Trio

Arriving in Schönfelde, a field in Brandenburg, Germany, just after sunrise, members of the Aerocene team met Radioamateurs Sven Steudte and Thomas Krahn, and quickly began setting up for our launch. Spirits were high – we brought five Aerocene solar sculptures to the site, hopeful that the weather conditions would allow for a series of successful launches.

The best time for launching sculptures is early in the morning, because at this time, wind speeds and outside temperatures are relatively low, both important factors in achieving a powerful lift.  Each Aerocene sculpture floats without burning fossil fuels, without batteries, and without helium, hydrogen or other rare gases. Their thermodynamic rise utilises only the power of the Sun, air, and wind currents. 

A trio of Aerocene Explorer sculptures was the first to be launched. Two of us held the Explorer open and started to run, sealing it quickly after it filled with collected air.

We repeated the process twice more, until three Explorers were filled and ready. Even though it was pretty overcast, the Sun broke through the clouds intermittently. The sculptures rested and became gradually heated by sunlight, until the temperature inside them rose higher than the surrounding air outside.

Once the Explorers sufficiently heated, they began to float. The temperature differential becomes acutely visible with the aid of an infrared camera, which detects the amount of heat emitting from people or objects.

Soon all three Explorers were in the air. Remaining afloat throughout the launch, the tethered family of sculptures danced through the air, their movements choreographed by the push and pull of the winds. 

The 51 Pegasi b, a new large lightweight (9 g/sq. m) sculpture, began to inflate. As we planned to launch it without a tether, we had already secured flight permission and alerted aviation authorities to the flight.

In the days leading up to the launch, many people had tried to estimate where the Pegasi might land by checking weather forecasts and using the Float Predictor, a global forecasting system that utilises open meteorological data to predict the flight paths of Aerocene solar flying sculptures. 

An online challenge was issued to try and predict the landing point of the Pegasi on this map. 

After the Pegasi inflated, we attached its payload.

The payload comprised the following sensing devices: a Pican Pica tracker, SPOT satellite GPS tracker, a GoPro camera, APRS byonics, and a radar reflector. Thanks to Sven Steudte (Radioamateur) for providing his Pican Pica for this launch.

The Pegasi warmed in the Sun, and we prepared for lift off.
After running with the Pegasi, it soon began to rise. It was released into the sky, rapidly lifting and floating with the wind, away from sight.

The Pegasi’s float trajectory was tracked on the APRS website.

Wilhelm-Hack-Museum (Ludwigshafen, Germany) and Museum Haus Konstructiv (Zurich, Switzerland) were following along live as well, having supported this launch as a part of Tomás Saraceno’s solo exhibition Aerosolar Journeys, which we cordially invite you to visit.

The Pican Pica camera began to transmit some fascinating aerial photos from onboard the Pegasi.

Meanwhile, back on Earth... As the weather conditions were still favourable, we prepared our final sculpture for launch. This sculpture, the Schellin, was outfitted with a cut-down mechanism, in order to test our geo-fencing system.

Geo-fencing creates an invisible perimeter beyond reach an Aerocene sculpture can not cross. When the geo-fence is triggered, a cut-down mechanism will be activated, which will force the sculpture to descend. This is a way of making sure an Aerocene does not float over areas where recovery would be problematic, i.e. over the ocean. Thanks to Alexander Bouchner from TU-Braunschweig for developing a cut-down mechanism for this experiment.

Due to the position of the sculpture and wind speeds, the Schellin did not launch on the first attempt, but we were determined to try again. 

Finally, the Schellin lifted skyward, joining the other Aerocene sculptures in the ocean of air above us. Everyone was thrilled to be able to launch five Aerocene sculptures in a single morning!

Two Aerocene sculptures, the Pegasi and the Schellin, were still floating in the air, and we continued to track their movements, soon discovering that both had crossed the German border into Poland. While some of the group then finished the launch by packing up and having a nice lunch, two of us jumped in a van and started to follow the Pegasi eastward, via the Pican Pica and SPOT trackers, hoping to recover them when they landed. 

It was discovered that Pegasi sculpture landed in northwest Poland at 12:52 p.m. Launched at 10:02 a.m. on 4 March 2017, the Pegasi floated nearly 3 hours and reached an altitude of 9 km before landing! We are now trying to determine the reason for the Pegasi’s relatively sudden descent. 

 

© Photography by Studio Tomás Saraceno, 2017© Photography by Studio Tomás Saraceno, 2017
© Photography by Studio Tomás Saraceno, 2017© Photography by Studio Tomás Saraceno, 2017
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© Photography by Studio Tomás Saraceno, 2017© Photography by Studio Tomás Saraceno, 2017
© Photography by Studio Tomás Saraceno, 2017© Photography by Studio Tomás Saraceno, 2017
© Photography by Studio Tomás Saraceno, 2017© Photography by Studio Tomás Saraceno, 2017

Our stellar team tracked the Pegasi soon after it landed around 3:00 p.m. in an area close to Glezno, Poland.

The Pegasi sculpture landed high in the trees near a small lake in a marsh area. The team managed to retrieve it the next morning with some very kind help from the local residents.

Many thanks to everyone who joined the 4 March 2017 Schönfelde launch both online and in person, and to Wilhelm-Hack-Museum, Ludwigshafen am Rhein,  Museum Haus Konstruktiv, ZurichPublic Laboratory for Open Technology and Science, and Radioamateur for their invaluable support and dedication. If you would like to get involved in preparing for the next Aerocene launch, write to us at info@aerocene.org. Until next time…!

#aerocene #pegasi #schellin #liftedbythesun

THE 51 PEGASI B FLOAT DATA:

STARTING POINT:
03/04/2017 10:02:51 AM
52.45095, 14.0485

LANDING POINT:
03/05/2017 12:52:06 AM
53.14799, 15.345

DURATION:
2:49:15 H

DISTANCE:
127 KM

SCHELLIN FLOAT DATA:

STARTING POINT:
03/04/2017 11:09:50 AM
52.45106, 14.04846

LANDING POINT:
03/04/2017 07:37:40 PM
53.71835, 20.09727

DURATION:
8:28:50 H

DISTANCE:
475 KM