Aerocene at Understanding Risk 2022

In late november the Aerocene community was invited to fly aerosolar at the Understading Risk global forum, in Florianópolis, Brazil. Understading Risk is a global community of experts and practitioners with interest in “disastrology”, the field which studies disasters from all points of view and establishes guidelines for their management.
Although the weather did not help, the Aerocene team managed to get an Aerocene sculpture airborne to the admiration of forum attendants. But soon, the clouds closed in again forcing to quickly deflate the sculpture and seek shelter from the adverse meteorology.
The states of Paraná, Rio Grande do Sul and Santa Catarina have been affected by heavy rains in the last week. Disaster preparedness allows governments and humanitarian institutions to build resilience, giving priority to those most at need. As the climate emergency unfolds, the need for #UnderstandingRisk will be more and more dire.

Salvemos el Cerro de Villa del Dique

Durante el fin de semana del 15 y 16 de octubre, la comunidad de Aerocene participa del Encuentro Ambiental del Villa del Dique 2022, organizado por la Asamblea Salvemos el Cerro de Villa del Dique.

Dialogamos con Gabriel Marco, uno de los realizadores del Encuentro Ambiental: “En Villa del Dique, en el corazón del valle de Calamuchita, una empresa constructora -GNI @gni.desarrollos- se apropió del camino público y de las costas del lago para un desarrollo inmobiliario. Para eso abrió un camino de forma totalmente irregular destruyendo el bosque de monte nativo sin ninguna evaluación de impacto ambiental.”

La Asamblea de vecinos “Salvemos al Cerro de Villa del dique” se encuentra en pie de lucha y alerta ambiental frente a la devastadora acción de la mega desarrollista GNI SA, la cual se apropió irregularmente de las costas del lago del pueblo para construir viviendas de lujo con puerto privado para comercializar.


La comunidad de Aerocene participó del encuentro volando tres esculturas aerosolares, a las que se les colgaron banderas en apoyo la causa del Cerro de Villa del Dique. Los vuelos se dieron con excelentes condiciones atmosféricas y fueron disfrutados por decenas de familias que visitaron el Encuentro Ambiental.

Al día siguiente, los integrantes de la Comunidad Aerocene arribaron al territorio con la intención de realizar un vuelo aerosolar manifestándose en contra de la destrucción del Cerro de la Cruz, pero la empresa de seguridad privada de la constructora GNI SA les impidió el acceso tanto por el camino como por las costas, argumentando que se trataba de propiedad privada.


Invitamos a reflexionar: justifica un negocio inmobiliario semejante daño al entorno natural y patrimonio turístico de tan hermoso lugar?

Frontignano Art Walks, Italia

Il 15 ottobre Aerocene si è alzata in volo a Frontignano, una piccola frazione del comune di Ussita, in provincia di Macerata.

Situata nel cuore del Parco Nazionale dei Monti Sibillini, la cittadina è tristemente nota per essere stata uno degli epicentri dei terremoti del 2016: un evento, quello sismico, che ha messo in ginocchio la città, danneggiandola in modo sostanziale e decimando al contempo il numero di turisti che ogni inverno affollavano queste zone per le attività sciistiche.

L’evento si proponeva di riflettere sul significato e sulle possibilità degli “altipiani”, di ripensare le montagne e di come viverle in modo autentico e non invasivo. cittadina è tristemente nota per essere stata uno degli epicentri dei terremoti del 2016: un evento, quello sismico, che ha messo in ginocchio la città, danneggiandola in modo sostanziale e decimando al contempo il numero di turisti che ogni inverno affollavano queste zone per le attività sciistiche.

La scultura Aerocene ha volato attraverso lo splendido scenario e, in assenza di vento, si è alzata lentamente sopra l’orizzonte, mentre un pubblico attento seguiva i suoi movimenti ondulatori.

Sineglossa (@sineglossa_), C.A.S.A. (@portodimontagna), orizzontale (@orizzontale_architecture), BAM! Strategie Culturali (@bamstracult) e Go World (@goworld_touroperator).

Museo Aero Solar Intiñan – COP20, Lima, Perú

We can become aerosolar

By Pablo Suarez, Ph.D.
Innovation Lead
Red Cross Red Crescent Climate Centre

On Sunday, December 7, 2014, Museo Aero Solar Intiñán became lighter than air and lifted off the ground, in the context of the annual UN Climate Conference in Lima -COP20. The event included former heads of state, national ministers, and leaders of development organizations from all continents. No need for helium or a burning flame feeding off fossil fuels: Just sunlight and the flame of motivated volunteers.


Under Tomás’ vision and guidance, a team of local volunteers set to work, including artists, students and Red Cross youth, as well as grandmothers and children from the slums near Parque Wiracocha. They collectively constructed a Museo Aero Solar: a large, lighter-than-air sculpture made of plastic bags that would otherwise be trash, engaging people across generations. Named “Intiñán” (a Quechua word meaning “way of the sun”), the sculpture aimed to harness the sun’s power to make our thinking and action take flight.


While Museo Aero Solar Intiñán was absorbing the sun’s power before it took flight, many participants decided to experience the magic. People in suits and neckties removed their shoes and crawled into this cathedral of light made of simple plastic bags. An artistic vision was uniting Lima’s shanty town dwellers with Nobel-prize-winning scientists, Bangladeshi community organizers, TV crews, European donors and Ugandan disaster managers, all bonding and reigniting their commitment to a better world while looking up to the luminous world of possibilities from inside the incomprehensibly beautiful sculpture.

I imagine what Pablo must have gone through, to get bureaucratic sign-off on this. No metric of success. No Theory of Change. Him, fighting tooth and nail for a large and hugely risk-averse organization to trust, falls into the arms of a community, an artist, a facilitator, and a game maker. And they did. And it changed the entire event. People in suits crawling into this cathedral made of plastic bags, each individually cut and added with love to the whole. A pile of fancy shoes outside the entrance, like a ballroom bouncy castle. People’s unabashed joy watching art some of them had made into a room, and then lift off to become a transport


Intiñán incarnated what our world needs: We can become aerosolar. We can mobilize the power of humanity, embracing science and art to rekindle our relationship with the world. The beauty, the sheer joy, and the deep inspiration that emerged from embarking on Tomás’ aerosolar ideas were magnificently uplifting. His invitation to an artistic experimental performance was an innovative, seriously fun endeavour that compelled us to re-imagine the world and its possibilities.

Hosted by Development & Climate Days, 2014: Zero poverty, Zero emissions, Within a generation.


Studio Tomás Saraceno

Red Cross Red Crescent Climate Centre

Overseas Development Institute

American Red Cross

Peruvian Red Cross

Pablo Suarez, Carlos Pedreros, Willow Brugh, Helga Elsner Torres, Ramiro Espinoza Wong, Frances Munar Aparicio and many more!

Aerocene at Nextones Festival in Italy

On July 27th and 28th Aerocene community member Lorenzo Malloni carried out a 2-day workshop: 26 Steps to be On Air during the Nextones Festival in the Val d’ Ossola, Italy.


Using inexpensive Do-It-Together techniques, the workshop’s twelve participants built two enourmous Tetro Aerosolar sculptures, that were later flown to excellent conditions. About the recent workshop, Lorenzo recalls: “We strictly followed the Aerocene sculpture construction method, including corner reinforcements and an inflation opening with velcro stripes”.

On the third day the participants were able to fly the sculptures collectively built. During the first half hour the wind was very low providing almost ideal conditions, and the sculptures took only five minutes to become buoyant. In Lorenzo’s words: “The alpine air was fresh and chill and the summer sun did the rest”.


Aerocene seeks to change how people relate to the world in environmental, social, and political terms. To build, and to design the sculpture is to engage participants in practices of thinking-through-making and collaborative action, triggering imagination and creativity, and spreading knowledge about solar balloon flights, thermodynamic physics, meteorological science and art practices through a multidisciplinary approach.⁠

Nextones project for “A Theatre of Stone in Nature” stands out as an example of architectural and landscape design which draws on the natural context and the industrial archeology of the location, thus ensuring the continuation of a narrative and enabling future generations to actively experience these spaces and also to contribute to their transformation.

Picture credits: Piercarlo Quecchia / DSL Studio

Aerosolar Arentsz and Rummelsberg flight

Within the Aerocene movement, different Possible Future(s) are envisioned and discussed: shared, pollution-free, solidary, socially and environmentally sustainable futures. But in this case we highlight a vision of an Aero Solar past brought forward by Aerocene Community member Irina Bogdan @irinambogdan

Inspired by the poetic aerosolar flights free from carbon emissions that took place on top of the frozen Rummelsburg lake in Berlin in February 2021, she went on to create a collage mixing Aerocene Sculptures and Arent Arentsz oil painting “Skaters on the Amstel”, made in Belgium in 1620.

On the occasion of the Rummelsberg flights last year an Aerocene Community member Lorenzo Malloni @malloni.lorenzo wrote: “As soon as the black Aerosolar sculptures get inflated on the ice with only air, the power of the sun lifts them off instantaneously – amplified by the albedo reflection effect on the white, frosty lake. Immediately, their movements in the thin air generate a focal point attracting the public and participants onto the wide white stage”.

But rather than keep us in the past, this vision may propel us into devising new Possible Future(s):
How to cool down the planet and foster a new sensitivity towards it?
How to explore without exploitation?
How to subvert the fossil fuels regime with the one of the Sun?

Under My Gaze

We are happy to invite the worldwide Aerocene Community, but especially those in Berlin, to the Under My Gaze aerosolar dance performance, by Renae Shadler and her collaborators together with Aerocene.

“The Sun gazes upon the Earth, creating and destroying life, the engine on which our ecosystems depend. Under my gaze is a ritual for our times a sculpture inflated by air, carried by wind and lifted only by the Sun. Bodies and voices pulse with the gravitational pull and combustive power of this solar giant, tracing the Sun’s movements through limb and skin, through reflection and darkness.

Under my Gaze is a quartet performed by three people and the Aerocene sculpture that gives a body to the unseen forces that surround us: connecting Earth-bound dancers to aerial and cosmic worlds in a transforming landscape of shadowy creatures and molten forms.

The dancers explore ways to see the Sun without eyes, learning from other creatures – phototropic plants, hydra that sense light with their tentacles. The audience bears witness to this fierce and at times delicate interplay of force and form, tuning in via headphones to the rhythmic stomps and ethereal flight.

Under my Gaze proposes a new poetics of movement fuelled not by fossilised energy, but by the gaze of the Sun itself; moving with – rather than extracting from – the often invisible forces that stir and surround us.”


As we learn to attune to the weather to adapt to new climates, the performance is weather dependent.

Under my Gaze
28-31. July 2022 / 11.30-12.45hr
St. Elisabeth Kirche, Invalidenstraße 4A, 10115 Berlin

The perfomance is open to everyone!
Purchasing a ticket grants you the experience of an audio soundtrack via wireless headphones.

Concept, Choreography, Performance: Renae Shadler | Performance: Mickey Mahar, Dorota Michalak | Composition: Samuel Hertz | Set design: Camille Lacadee | Costume design: Geraldine Arnold | Dramaturgy: Ally Bisshop, Maikon K | Production, Distribution: Dörte Wolter | Production assistant: Undine Sommers | Photos: Piotr Pietrus | Video: Camille Lacadee | Inspired by Susurrus group, 2017-2020: Samuel Hertz, Maria Nurmela, Kalle Ropponen, Renae Shadler

Presented by Renae Shadler & Collaborators in collaboration with Aerocene Foundation. Supported by Fonds Darstellende Künste with funds from the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and Media within the program NEUSTART KULTUR.

Salar de Uyuni – Bolivia expedition

Sala de Uyuni, Bolivia
20.1338° S, 67.4891° W
3,656 metres above sea level

In 2017 Tomas Saraceno and a small group of photographers, documentalists, artists and geographers visited the Salar de Uyuni in Bolivia, one of the world’s largest salt flats.

They were looking for images in which the horizon disappears as a result of the reflection of the sky on the water-covered surface of the salt flat, investigating the perception of floating in the clouds during the day or in the constellations of stars at night.

This Aerocenic gathering was a seed for many initiatives, connections, and cosmogonies that would later come together: the development of an international Aerocene community and the World Record making of Pacha flights in Salinas Grandes, piloted by Leticia Marques carrying the message of the native communities for climate justice.

But the reality we encounter in the mesmerising landscapes of Latin America’s salt flats is that the disastrous effects of the mining industry on earth inherently extend both upwards and downwards.

Aerocene imagines a future era in which we learn together to float and live in the air, but also in which we recognize that we cannot do so without reaching an ethical alignment to the atmosphere and our planet Earth.

Today we share this beautiful trip with the Aerocene community, through a selection of texts from the trip’s open logbook. We invite you to read the excerpts:

Photography by Studio Tomás Saraceno, © 2016Photography by Studio Tomás Saraceno, © 2016
Photography by Studio Tomás Saraceno, © 2016Photography by Studio Tomás Saraceno, © 2016
Photography by Studio Tomás Saraceno, © 2016Photography by Studio Tomás Saraceno, © 2016
Photography by Studio Tomás Saraceno, © 2016Photography by Studio Tomás Saraceno, © 2016
Photography by Studio Tomás Saraceno, © 2016Photography by Studio Tomás Saraceno, © 2016
Photography by Studio Tomás Saraceno, © 2016Photography by Studio Tomás Saraceno, © 2016

“The point is that what was expected was found wanting: the rains and liquid volumes were long overdue. So we kneeled and burnt incense, we encircled shrines and listened to the bemoaned wailings of agrarian villages crying to their lord – or lords – to turn it on, to bring the rain – it was long. long overdue.”

Jol Thoms


“Por la noche en el salar comenzó a soplar un viento infernal. Con la guitarra toqué algunas canciones para entrar en calor pero el frío y el viento hizo que me metiera en la pileta de lona con Tomás que estaba todo tapado con varias mantas en su bolsa de dormir. Una vez dentro de la pileta en mi bolsa de dormir y tapado con las mantas intenté nuevamente tocar la guitarra. Al sacar el mástil hacia arriba, el viento hizo vibrar las cuerdas produciendo unos sonidos y unas armonías ya que modificando la inclinación de la guitarra o girándola apenas iba variando una melodía con notas más graves o más agudas. El instrumento de cuerdas se transformó temporalmente en uno de viento. Más tarde nos dormimos con un cielo totalmente cubierto de estrellas.”

Maxi Laina


“Next morning we find the lake covered with Bubbles. No idea where they come from. Air inclusions rising from the salt ground? Algae blooms?…
The feeling of hovering in space is back a last time. When approaching the tripod of my camera I actually lose my balance. Jan is reporting the same feeling.”

Bernd Pröschold


“Arrivati in ostello, eravamo presi tutti da un’euforia strana, finalmente pioveva ed era una cosa importante non solo per il nostro progetto, ma anche per tutti gli abitanti di Coqueza che aspettavano questo giorno da varie settimane. La serata si è trasformata in una festa cantando, suonando la chitarra e giocando a carte!
La mattina dopo ci siamo svegliati all’alba, eravamo in mezzo a uno specchio d’acqua. Il cielo e le nuvole si riflettevano nel suolo, tutto era doppio e il sole brillava forte come mai ho visto prima.
Questo è stato uno dei giorni più speciali del mio viaggio e sicuramente un ricordo straordinario che porterò sempre con me.”

Martina Pellachi


“No tenemos agua, pero, tenemos sandía”
Sasha Engelmann


“It started to rain a few days before the end of the expedition, but the salt lake was so dry that the water just fully got absorbed.
Suddenly at night it started to rain seriously: you could hear it very loud on the zinc roof.
I went to sleep with this exciting feeling I had when I was a child and the first snow was falling during the evenings, just before bedtime.”
Daniel Schulz

Photography by Studio Tomás Saraceno, © 2016Photography by Studio Tomás Saraceno, © 2016
Photography by Studio Tomás Saraceno, © 2016Photography by Studio Tomás Saraceno, © 2016

Read more about the fight for Climate Justice and against unsustainable Lithium Extraction

Watch Tomas Saraceno with Aerocene TED Talk on

Aerocene Arcosanti with Joseph Becker and TSOA

On March 4th, 5th, and 6th, 2022, a group of students from The School of Architecture at Arcosanti flew an Aerocene Sculpture, as part of Professor Joseph Becker’s workshop “RAD/PED,” a three-day exploration of radical pedagogies.

Following the guides included in the Aerocene Backpack atmospheric exploration kit, the team launched an Aerocene sculpture from the spectacular roof of Arcosanti in Arizona, which was able to get aerosolar lift in very cold air. Embracing the do-it-together ethos of the Aerocene, the students also built and launched their own Museo Aero Solar Tetro sculpture out of a thin recycled-plastic drop cloth and plastic bags.

Arcosanti is an experimental town in the high desert of Arizona founded by Italian-American architect Paolo Soleri. Envisioned as an experiment in living frugally and with a limited environmental footprint, Arcosanti is an attempt at a prototype arcology, integrating the design of architecture with respect to ecology.

In dialog with the Aerocene Community, Professor Joseph Becker, who is the Associate Curator of Architecture and Design at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, expressed: “Cultural revolutions and moments of societal upheaval have contributed to ways of looking beyond the traditional and hierarchical formats of teaching, learning, and making. This workshop examined the circumstances and explores the techniques of a history of radical pedagogy in art and architecture.”

La Isla de La Paternal

On Sunday Septermber 27th, members of the Buenos Aires Aerocene Community gathered for an aero solar flight at “La Isla de La Paternal”. “La Isla”, or the island, is one of the Buenos Aires city most important green spaces: a green lung surrounded by the neighborhoods of La Paternal, Villa Ortúzar and Angronomía, now at risk of an excluding real estate development.

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