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.



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


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!



hear the harmony of the air


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.



being adrift


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 …



air as transmitter

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.


Weather data


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
© 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 Until next time…!

#aerocene #pegasi #schellin #liftedbythesun


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

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

2:49:15 H

127 KM


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

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

8:28:50 H

475 KM