Eclipse Solar 2019

Today Aerocene flew during the Austral Total Solar Eclipse of 2019! Our balloons were inflated in the afternoon, and at 17.41hs, the sun almost on the horizon, just before sunset, hid completely behind the moon for 2 minutes. 

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Aerocene arrives in Rosario, Argentina!

Aeronauts of Argentina, Aerocene arrives this weekend floating in the air to Rosario! We will be building a huge Aerosolar Museum and carrying out Aerosolar flights in the Paraná River coast, signing in the air our commitment towards a future free of fossil fuels. Everyone is invited!

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Inflamable tiene voz

Inflamable tiene voz

Villa Inflamable, Dock Sud, Avellaneda

34°39'46.4"S 58°20’22.9”W

Photo by Natalia Buceta

El domingo 8 de julio, la Fundación Aeroceno en colaboración con Centro Comunitario Sembrando JuntosACIJ y el Blog Proyecto Riachuelo realizaron una jornada de reflexión con vuelos de globos aerosolares Aerocene Explorer en Villa Inflamable. Además de los vecinos de Inflamable, fueron invitados un equipo documental de la Universidad 3 de Febrero y el canal de televisión comunitario que cubre las villas de Buenos Aires, Urbana Te Ve.

La actividad surgió a partir de cumplirse en ese día el décimo aniversario del fallo Mendoza de la Corte Suprema de Justicia que trató la causa Mendoza sobre el sufrimiento ambiental causado por el estado crítico del río Matanza-Riachuelo y que ordenó la limpieza de su cuenca.

Lo que parecía ser una dia nublado con posibles lluvias intermitentes evolucionó en un dia con unos transeúntes cumulus nimbus y bastante sol, mientras se desarmaba una Sudestada sobre el Río de la Plata dejando vientos con rachas de 10 nudos.

Por la mañana, realizamos una recorrida por Villa Inflamable de la mano de un vecino conocido por muchos habitantes, Daniel. Recorrimos las calles mientras Daniel nos contaba de la vida en la villa y los problemas más importantes que aún sufren los vecinos. Se nota un claro abandono por parte del estado que toma un enorme contraste cuando se tiene en cuenta que esta comunidad convive con uno de los polos petroquímicos más grandes de Argentina. Es desconcertante ver circular una línea casi constante de camiones cisterna que abastecen de combustible a la megalópolis de Buenos Aires, atravesando normalmente todos los días por un barrio con necesidades tan urgentes.
Daniel nos contó que sufren el estado de las calles, un entramado de barro y algunas pocas calles de pavimento, y sobre todo la falta de servicios, como agua corriente potable, electricidad, gas, cloacas, alumbrado deficiente, la lista es grande. El estado a reconocido que el agua de red está contaminada y es nociva para la salud, armando a través de Acumar una red de distribución de botellones de agua potable. Cada una de las más de dos mil familias que habitan la Villa deben acudir diariamente a buscar sus botellones a un centro de acopio en la zona que habita.
La falta de una red cloacal es quizás uno de los problemas más acuciantes de la Villa, ya que los residuos cloacales desagotan en lagunas naturales que se encuentran dispersas por el territorio de Inflamable. Estas lagunas han acumulado basura de distinto tipo, domiciliaria e industrial y aunque aparentan sostener actividad biológica que colabora con el procesamiento de los residuos, son una zona de extremo riesgo para todas las enfermedades relacionadas a la presencia de larvas de mosquitos, como el dengue, el zika y la chikungunya.
Nuestro cálido guía, Daniel, nos contó que tiene 10 hijos, y al rato de caminar llegamos a su casa, un pequeño rancho con poca luz natural, sin puertas ni ventanas. Dialogamos con su mujer y algunas de sus hijas, que dibujaban con colores alegres en la mesa del comedor, con piso de tierra. Daniel actualmente coordina a trabajadores del plan de limpieza pública de la Villa, y aspira a poder construir sobre una losa en el fondo de su terreno, una casa de material con piso firme. Nuestra recorrida por el barrio terminó pasado el mediodía, ya que ya estaban arribando algunos invitados al Centro Comunitario Sembrando Juntos.
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Luego de haber organizado un taller de armado de globos aerosolares con los chicos que acuden las clases de apoyo escolar en Sembrando Juntos, fuimos ampliando nuestra red contactos y uniendo las sinergias de distintas instituciones que trabajan para mejorar la calidad de vida en la Villa. Comenzando por supuesto por Claudia Espínola, líder de Sembrando Juntos, promotora jurídica y reconocida activista por los derechos de los habitantes de Inflamable. Claudia tiene una maravillosa familia que la ayuda y acompaña en todo lo que hace, como su hija Rocío Luque que estudia Trabajo Social en la Universidad de Lanús y conoce las familias de la villa y su lucha por vivir mejor.

Otra llegada auspiciosa fue la presencia de ACIJ (Asociación Civil por la Igualdad y la Justicia), que viene realizando desde 2010 una labor impecable en la Villa, desarrollando una agenda de propuestas concretas para el cambio y talleres de economía productiva entre otras acciones. También se sumaron los arquitectos urbanistas Gustavo Cañaveral y Adolfo Rossi del Blog Proyecto Riachuelo, quienes nos dieron una clase magistral de la cuenca Matanza Riachuelo y su visión de vías navegables turísticas y productivas para el desarrollo de la zona.

Vias navegables y productivas, la visión de los arquitectos Gustavo Cañaveral y Adolfo Rossi para la cuenca del Matanza-Riachuelo
Ezequiel Viggiano de Sembrando Juntos preparó unas riquísimas bondiolas y choripanes para un almuerzo lleno de anécdotas de la zona, recordando la historia y evolución del Riachuelo, y sobre todo, el paisaje ribereño previo a la actividad antrópica petrolera corporativa que lamentablemente se asentó en este barrio en forma de gigantesco polo petroquímico.
Finalmente llegó la hora de los vuelos! Nos dirigimos al predio frente al depósito de containers, ya que la Saladita de Villa Inflamable estaba llena de barro por las lluvias de la semana anterior. Volamos dos globos Aerocene Explorer, junto a vecinos de Inflamable, como nuestro guía Daniel que vino con 4 de sus hijas menores. Los globos registraron variables atmosféricas y un Aeroglifo, o firma en el aire. Estas firmas que describen el vuelo de los globos aerosolares son recopiladas alrededor del mundo, como firmas en pos de un compromiso ético con la atmósfera, por un futuro libre de combustibles fósiles.
Firmamos por un futuro libre de combustibles fósiles!

En un momento cargado de emotividad, la activista Claudia Espínola leyó un documento escrito por la comunidad, en el cual se reivindica el trabajo histórico de los activistas de Inflamable y la cuenca Matanza-Riachuelo y se reclama por soluciones duraderas para la contaminación ambiental. Fueron recordadas, por no poder estar presentes, Fueron recordadas, por no poder estar presentes, lla antropóloga nacida en Inflamable Débora Swistun -quien escribió el famoso libro Inflamable, Estudio del sufrimiento ambiental, quien trabaja en distintas iniciativas ambientales y nos facilitó conocer Sembrando Juntos- y Beatriz Mendoza -impulsora que de la causa colectiva sobre la que falló la Corte Suprema, que lleva su nombre.

El grupo de vecinos, instituciones, voluntarios y niños que se reunión a reflexionar en esta jornada no solo logró ese objetivo, sino que además, quedó flotando en el aire un marcado sentimiento de hermandad, colaboración y solidaridad. Esos valores nos guían, en la búsqueda de una mejor calidad de vida para las 2000 familias de Villa Inflamable. Nuestras acciones futuras se orientan a continuar acompañando esta valiosa comunidad, y una serie de acciones concretas para lograr suplir alguna necesidad de los vecinos. Porque como reflexiona Claudia: “Inflamable tiene Voz”.

 

Fotos por Gabriela Sorbi, Natalia Buceta, Jimena Rodriguez Berisso y Margarita Ezcurra

Helenesee moves on air – Free Flight

Free Flight

Archimedes & Aerides

Saturday August 4

What would breathing feel like in a post fossil fuel epoch, and what is our response-ability?

How to challenge geopolitical borders in an age of climate inequality?

Last Saturday, August 4 in 2018, the Aerocene community reunited for two seperate free flights. First was an atmospheric rehearsal for the most sustainable and longest Aerocene Free Flight and for the first emissions-free around-the-world flight. After that, an aerosolar sculpture free flight that would be released from a kayak on the lake Helenesee.

Meeting at 8 am at Helenesee by the Wassersportzentrum, we started our journey towards decolonisation of the air from particulate matter.

Once upon a time, millenia ago, people began dreaming about taking flight. The philosophers and thinkers who first thought, wrote and spread the word about this possibility had no notion of fuel. However, once the Montgolfier brothers took flight, things took a turn for the unsustainable. The brothers, and the people following them, were to bare the label aeronaut, which describes someone who operates or travels in an airship or balloon. It’s a word connoting mythicism, forwardness and conquering the improbable, which turned out not to rather conceivable after all.

Over the last 50 years,  another generation of Aeronauts have resurfaced. Having a similar flare for exploring the improbable but slightly different intention, they revisit the great minds of the past which have been overlooked after the fossil fuel apocalypse. From this, they venture onwards, towards for brighter futures for all.

Like aeronauts uses s, futures do the same. Devoted people, from diverse backgrounds, in diverse communities, with diverse positive intentions, have gathered over the last decades to pave the way for us to quite literally, track them. In the case of the Aerocene community, the word aeronaut takes on another form. “Aero”, a short, clean word refers to the aerial, a symbol of the essence of our activities, communicating 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. “Naut”, also short for nautical, is a significant and perhaps accidental recognition of the similarity of floating in fluids, whether gaseous air or liquid water. The neologism highlights togetherness, as with the aeronauts of Aerocene, just like liquids and gases conjoin under the term fluids, our community effort synthesises under Aerocene.

The 4th of August was special; the Aerocene community united once again for an unforgettable free flight journey. Community commitment and fellowship, with each other as individuals, as well as with the earth, seemed to be the key ingredients bringing them together, this time with an added accomplishment: many had been camping on site prior to the morning of the free flight. After necessary preparations, tranquility took over the campers as they reconnected with the world around them and experienced the harmonic consonance of the earth. When crashing into sun-heated water, and peering upwards, surrounded by the power of the sun after it disappeared behind the horizon, we floated peacefully, perhaps unaware of the depth of meaning that this swim had for the upcoming flight.

Although our Aerocene journey had begun the previous evening, waking up with the sun and slowly recognising our surroundings, empirically and metaphysically, was a key moment in this free flight. Rising up, hopping down from a flying tent that was innocently strapped between trees, or rising up and out of an earthbound tent, revealed to us the peaceful surroundings. In that moment we couldn’t have felt the sun’s intensity stronger. Waking up differently than we were used to, out of the usual routine, gathering with the community and floating with Aerocene, we were still unaware of the two flights that were about to happen with our two sculptures: Aerides and Archimedes.

The Archimedean principle states that the upward buoyant force that is being exerted on a body and immersed in fluid, whether partially or wholly, is equal to the weight of the fluid that the body displaces. It acts in the upwards direction at the centre of mass of the displaced fluid. This principle applies to any body, including aerosolar sculptures, which tap into an unlimited source of energy, the Sun. The sculpture is designed to absorb and preserve as much infrared radiation as possible, and when the warm air inside the balloon becomes lighter than the ambient air, the resultant force is a vertical upwards force: the aerostatics force or ‘lift’. In this way, our Archimedes represents the dawn of aeronautics as well as the later ascent of the aerosolar many years later, as originating from the clean mathematical principle stated by him.

As aerosolar flights are weather dependent, needing sun and minimal wind to lift, and we were lucky to experience a warm and sunny day. While the sun was shining, returning to the water for a swim was a great option to cool our fragile bodies from the heat of the sun, the very source that lifts the Aerocene sculpture, allowing it to float in the air as we do beneath it in the water. Gently on the clear waters of the lake, we float with Aerocene, all heated by the sun. Due to the partially reflective material of the Aerocene sculpture, the air inside an envelope will slowly heat up until the inner air density is low enough to provide sufficient lift to overcome gravity and make the envelope rise. Once in the air, an untethered Sculpture can easily rise up to the stratosphere in a couple of hours. Filled only with air, lifted only by the sun and the infrared radiation from the surface of the earth, carried only by the wind, floating onwards without the use of fossil fuels, is a recent development of today’s aeronauts. Aeronautics has required patience, and this is no exception. Inflating the sculpture Archimedes was done by running in order to fill it with air, and waiting for it to begin to rise before guiding it to the water, from which it was released using a kayak. Despite light cloud cover at this time, the radiation reflecting off from the glistening water and the heat of the sun above allowed it to lift into the air smoothly.

In accordance to the patience required in these types of events, the importance of spending time with each other and getting to know one another cannot be overstated. We had plenty of time to do so on this day. After some intermission, which can always be expected with aerosolar launches, the launch team and the rest of the community were preparing for the first-ever free flight rehearsal launch. Aerides, a tetra shaped balloon, accompanied by a small ensemble of 6 sbs-13s, was aiming to reach a flight level of 13000 meters. Followed by stations worldwide in collaboration with the APRS community, the flight was a test of overnight long distance flight constantly capturing temperature data from inside and outside of the aerosolar sculpture. If it would travel across the globe, it would be the first time with a camera. Attached to the balloon, there was a solar cell and a tracker, Pecan Pico 10-B, built by Aerocene community member and radioamateur Sven, with help from Bob in Australia, their collaboration a global journey itself. Since Aerocene technology is open source, everybody has access to it, and to track, modify and to change, and is invited to do so.

The concept behind the flight was to photograph and analyse the behaviour of the solar balloon and its day-and-night-cycle, in which the power of the sun is ever present but also everchanging. The aim is to be able to complete an aerosolar emissions free around the world free flight in the foreseeable future. Just like we feel the heat of the sun within the water, as we float overtop, the sculpture also feels the heat of the sun through the membrane. Whether directly during the day, or indirectly throughout the night, it keeps itself afloat in this way.

The blazing hot day made us losing track of time and space as we became caught in the pulse of the relationship between the sun, earth and ourselves. Ever present and oscillating, the current of energy from the sun translated into a stream of consciousness. During the moments of the inbetween, when the pendulum briefly pauses at each end, at dusk and dawn, we were allowed to physically feel the constant oscillation of energy. We cool down at dusk and warm up at dawn, just like the aerosolar sculptures. Embodying us in the air, it was an eternal pendulum to which we all seemed to feel attached to. Together with our reflections during this event, an imaginative space opened. It was both physical and metaphysical, and became a space to pause and to reflect, reclaiming the space between us, the cosmos and the atmosphere.

In many ways, we devise new modes of sensitivity and reactivate a common imaginary towards achieving an ethical collaboration with the environment. We find ourselves usually in the every day, but this weekend was a heightened event in all of our lives. With the rehearsal of an aerosolar around the world flight, we pictured a new infrastructure, challenging and redefining an international right to mobility. Along with our community efforts, we re-assessed our connection to the earth, symbolising the opposition to the extractive approach developed by humans towards this planet. We call to re-examine the possibility of freedom of movement in the air above us.. In this way, as aeronauts of an  imaginative nature, we call for a new interplanetary ecology which reconnects elemental sources of energy of the sun and planets to break the boundaries of the sublunary. We can experience the dawn of this when floating with Aerocene, acquainting ourselves with the power of the sun and starting our journey towards the decolonisation of the air.

In this way amongst others, we devise new modes of sensitivity and reactivate a common imaginary towards achieving an ethical collaboration with the environment we find ourselves in every day, during this weekend a heightened presence in our lives. The rehearsal of an aerosolar around-the-world flight symbolises a new infrastructure which redefines an international right to mobility, and along with our community to reassess our connection to the earth, we hereby oppose the extractive approach developed by people towards the planet we inhabit. Instead, we call to re-examine the possibility of freedom of movement between countries, along with a reconnection between us and the elemental sources of energy, the sun and the planets. The dawn of this, the start of a new interplanetary ecology of interconnection between us all and the environment, can be sensed in moments like these, when we float with aerocene and re-acquaint ourselves with the power of the sun, beginning our journey towards the decolonisation of the air.

We re-acquaint ourselves with the power of the sun and we re-activate a common imaginary towards achieving an ethical collaboration with the environment. We find ourselves in every day, during this weekend a heightened physical presence in our lives. Within this, along with the rehearsal of an aerosolar around-the-world flight, we symbolise an imaginary new infrastructure which leaves behind the extractive approach people have adopted towards the earth, and re-assesses our connection to the earth and re-examines the possibility of free movement across the world as we move towards an interconnection between us and the elemental sources of energy, the sun and the planets, a new interplanetary ecology of practise in terms of oscillating harmony.

Aerocene movements over CCCB – Barcelona

Bacelona, the Aerocene Explorer flies over the CCCB

Barcelona, Spain: 30 April 2018

Only one day before the closing of ‘After the End of the World’, an exhibition about the Earth of 2017 (irreversibly transformed into the Anthropocene planet after two centuries of human impact on natural systems) and how we will reach the world of the latter half of the 21st century; the CCCB team decided to perform the Aerocene Explorer tethered-flight by using the material contained in the Explorer Backpack hanging from our exhibition walls. The launch was performed in the Pati de les Dones, an exterior courtyard enclosed by the buildings of the CCCB. The courtyard is a public space, which means that any pedestrian passing by could see and enjoy the experience.

It wasn’t the first time we had planned to fly the Sculpture over our cultural center, but the weather conditions in Barcelona during the past weeks had been unbelievable! Since when has the sunny city seen so many cloudy and windy days in spring? May we blame climate change once again? Or shall we be blamed for the change in climate?

 

Fortunately, the conditions that morning were good enough (a sunny morning with low winds) to allow us to perform the experience and finally materialise the activity, offering greater understanding to the audience, who was able to visualize the concept functioning in open air. But how did the process go?

STEP 1: We prepare the Sculpture in the yard for the flight

STEP 2: We manage to make it fly!

We were impressed by how quickly the Structure raised to reach the sky. All of a sudden, people passing by started to gather around to see the Sculpture fly. Many were extremely curios and took their phones and cameras out to capture the moment; children were impressed, looking at the sky and running around the yard to follow the Sculpture as it flew.

When the morning started to look gloomy again, it was time to take the Sculpture back
to the ground and place it back to its container. It took 5 of us to fold it but, with
patience and team work, we finally managed to get the air out (always keep an eye on the hole – it needs to be open for the air to escape!) and finalise the experience!

Being able to publically practice and present the utopian architectural project of the Aerocene Explorer has been an invaluable experience to show the importance of using
the countless resources we have to tackle the current and future climate crisis.

All images were taken by the CCCB

Aussie Esperance & Perth Explorer Flights

Australia

Esperance & Perth Explorer Flights

A duo of first ever Australian Aerocene Explorer flights took place in the last week of 2017 and the first week of 2018.
Gwilym Faulkner who was visiting his family on vacation from Berlin, had the timely opportunity to launch with them into the new year in a truly Aerocenic manner. The first flight took place on the remote white and blue expanse of Lucky Bay in Esperance, and secondly in a more communal setting at the South Fremantle beach in Perth.

The flight in Esperance was a true testament to the ability of the wind, with a strong onshore south-westerly typical to the area, the flight was equal parts battle and dance with the wind in an attempt to gain some lift from the sun and record some aerial footage of the beautiful coastal landscape.

Sharing the beach with only a few campers and tourists, there was a beautiful quietness between the sculpture and the landscape, which was only occasionally interrupted by a curious cry of a child, the slowing engine of a vehicle beachgoer passing by and the perhaps confused calls of local seagulls. Having several pairs of helping hands on standby, the sculpture was manageable but still an important reminder of the power and force that is constantly generated by the ever present wind. After a few successful lifts the decision was made to retire the sculpture for the day. For a first ever flight in the continent, the group left with a feeling of achievement and a newfound respect for the raw power and ability of nature.

 

 

 

On the 6th of January, with sunny blue skies and a moderate amount of wind, the second flight took place on a grassy field a stone’s throw away from the waters of South Beach in Fremantle. With adequate sunshine and a recorded temperature difference of 13 degrees celsius within 6 minutes, the sculpture was ready to launch. Before long a relationship between the sculpture and the people began to take place; many local families, friends and beachgoers were getting curious and inquisitive about the sculpture.

Once the sculpture had lifted, the first to interact, unsurprisingly, were a group of young toddlers who chased and danced with the sculpture. Following their lead, many of the other people who had heard about the launch or passed by at the right time started to converse between themselves and with Gwilym regarding just what it was they were seeing. The moments when many realized this large thing in front of them was lifted purely by the power of the sun, there was a reaction of awe and excitement and perhaps a shift in the way things are seen. In a land with such plentiful sunshine, the potential for an Aerocene inspired future is bright and important.