ARIA Days | Florence, Italy, 2020

On the occasion of the exhibition Tomás Saraceno. Aria 

in Florence, Palazzo Strozzi, the collaboration between Aerocene Foundation, Fondazione Palazzo Strozzi and Manifattura Tabacchi led to the take-off of ARIA Days.


Over three days, Friday 11 to Sunday 13 September 2020, Aerocene sculptures elevated in the air of Florence, imagining how to move and travel without the need for fossil fuels: a symbol of a new age for the planet, the era of the Air.

Becoming buoyant only with the heat of the sun, the aerosolar sculptures rose above Piazza dell’Orologio at Manifattura Tabacchi thanks to the collaboration of a volunteer group trained by Aerocene Foundation.


In the words of Martino Margheri, Aerocene Pilot, Education Coordinator at Fondazione Palazzo Strozzi and organizer of Aerocene activities in Florence:

“We had such a great experience in Florence during ARIA Days at Manifattura Tabacchi.

Since the workshop with the representatives of Aerocene Foundation, Alice Lamperti, Lorenzo Malloni and Joaquin Ezcurra in July, we really enjoyed working altogether and delve ourselves into the community attitude of Aerocene endeavours and share with a broader public a new engagement with the air and the atmosphere.

During the Aerocene Pilot Course, we have been able to deliver a powerful message to the Florentine community, as many people participated and asked about organizing further Aerocene events in the upcoming months.

Around 200 people launched the aerosolar sculptures enclosed in the Aerocene Backpacks and more than 1000 people attended the events of ARIA Days, uplifted by the mesmerizing flying sculptures.”

A group of 12 volunteers, Aerosolar Pilots officially trained by Aerocene Foundation’s coordinators Alice Lamperti and Lorenzo Malloni, worked side by side with Palazzo Strozzi’s team to engage with the audience and show a different way for flying, sharing with enthusiasm the possible futures to come within the Aerocene era.

During the workshop open to the public, the on-site team had to deal with a sunny but windy weekend: in order to have full control of the sculpture and guarantee safe flights for the pilots and the number of visitors in the courtyard of Manifattura Tabacchi, they all flew, together, one sculpture at the time, following the rhythms of the winds and the will of the atmosphere. 

The Pilot Course for the volunteers promoted by Aerocene Foundation in collaboration with Fondazione Palazzo Strozzi was set up as an interdisciplinary workshop, a laboratory to sense di air differently.

The first approach with an Aerosolar Sculpture can be extremely powerful both in terms of our physical engagement with it, both concerning its connection with the invisible natural forces we live among – such as the air, the winds and the energy of the sun. Elements that in our daily routine may end up unnoticed in the majority of cases, especially in a city like Florence, an environment with a solid history of human-centric vision as the cradle of Humanism and the Renaissance. 

Aerocene wants to inspire a different perspective, where the environment abandons its role of sole scenography, but becomes the protagonist, with all its elemental energies: to foster a shift in consciousness, rethinking what the futures to come could inaugurate a new Renaissance – Aerocene, an era for the Air, towards the independence from fossil-fuels based mobility.

If we think about the aerial perspective, whose studies were initiated in the very city of Florence by Leonardo da Vinci, it is based on the discovery that air is not an entirely transparent medium. According to Leonardo’s optical studies, moreover, the air is denser («una aria grossa più che le altre» – one air thicker than the others) the closer it is to the ground, while it becomes more transparent with height. 

With the Aerocene workshop in Florence during ARIA Days, the aim was to trigger the volunteers and the public’ sensitivity towards the atmosphere and the planet, detaching from the ground to have a tangible view of the ocean of air at the bottom of which we all live. 

The Pilot Course is based on learning how to launch an aerosolar sculpture in the air and the safety procedures that come with this action. The Aerocene Pilot Course is an entrance into the praxis of becoming aerosolar; attuning to the weather, collaboratively energising and activating the lift and drift of aerosolar sculptures in alignment with the Sun and winds, and drawing aeroglyphs with the air. A thinking-through-making activity, the Pilot Courses seek to open up the thermodynamic imagination through the boundless potential of energies, both elemental and of collaboration.

Every aerosolar sculpture, while on air, can be equipped with the SensAIR, the sensing kit enclosed in the Aerocene Backpack, a tool for perceiving and measuring atmospheric properties collaboratively developed by the Aerocene community. 


Contained within a reused plastic bottle, a Raspberry Pi single-board computer connects to a Raspberry Pi camera, a BME280 pressure/humidity/temperature sensor, a solar battery back, an SD card, and a WLAN stick (USB 2.0). It can also include Motion Trackers and Particulate Matter Sensors.

Prior to list off, the device is attached to the sculpture and enables the gathering of aerial pictures and atmospheric data, such as temperature, humidity and pressure, along with air pollutant measurements.

Fully open-source via the GitHub repository, the SensAIR enables the low-cost, non-intrusive, emissions-free scientific study of airborne matter, and encourages citizen-science approaches to atmospheric investigation.

The motion tracker embedded in the SensAIR is able to record the movements of the floating sculptures, the invisible traces left by it – the Aeroglyphs.

Like handwriting or fingerprints, the swirling trace that follows any Aerocene flight is unique. While eagerly adapting to the ever-changing rivers of the wind, atmospherics laws and weather conditions, aerosolar spheres create signatures in and of the air. In contrast to fuel-powered flights that leave behind visible, straight lines in the sky, the trajectories of an Aerocene float are invisible to the eye.

With every launch, the participants have been able to record the flight trajectories and subsequently, thanks to Joaquin Ezcurra – Aerocene Foundation’s Aerial Data expert – visualize them in digital form. The objective was to understand the basics of the collected data: GPS coordinates, atmospheric pressure and its relation to altitude, and then process this information into an artistic visualization. 

During the workshop, participants have been able to sort and analyze the information collected by the airborne sensing device from scratch, by compiling the source info on a CSV file, through an open-source spreadsheet application. Then, the GPS values have been pasted into a sample KML file through a text editor application, following examples downloaded from Aerocene’s Sky Hole Mark Up repository on GitHub. Later, each KML file has been uploaded into the Google Earth Pro (Free) application for visualization of each aerosolar sculpture’s Aeroglyph.

  Aeroglyph AT 200727, Florence, 2020

Aerial Pictures, SensAIR, Florence, 2020

  Aeroglyph AT 200726, AT 200727, AT 200728, G-Earth view, Florence, 2020

Aerocene Certified Pilots, Class of 2020, ARIA Days, Aerial Pictures, SensAIR, Florence, 2020

Congratulations to all new certified pilots and participants for the amazing collective achievements of ARIA DAYS.

Special thanks to Martino Margheri and Riccardo Lami for the invaluable support and energy invested in making the Aerocene landing in Florence a reality, together with Arturo Galansino Director General Fondazione Palazzo Strozzi and the entire team of Manifattura Tabacchi.

Applause to all volunteers for the enthusiasm and care demonstrated during the workshop! In aerial order: Maria Camilla Palleschi, Sara Gavagni, Marta Lorenzi, Silvia Villafranca, Federica Pascarella, Giampaolo Irtinni, Marianna Di Rosa, Chiara Martini, Mariasole Monaci, Fiamma Batini, Federica Giglio.

Photo Credits: Aerocene launches, 2020, Manifattura Tabacchi, Firenze, as part of exhibition Tomás Saraceno. Aria, Palazzo Strozzi, Firenze. All photos by Giancarlo Barzagli. Licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0 

Video Credits: Alex Torres and Ugo De Berti – UDB Studio Licensed under CC-BY-SA 4.0


Aerocene Futuros Posibles Tigre

El 13 de noviembre, Aerocene participó del festejo de los 130 años de la Escuela N° 8, Manuel Belgrano de Islas, fundada en el año 1889. También se celebró el día de la tradición y del isleño.

A partir de las 10 de la mañana fueron arribando las lanchas colectivas cargadas de chicos y maestros provenientes de distintas partes de la isla y de continente. Varias familias también llegaron en sus propias embarcaciones.

Cuando comenzó a sonar el himno, el primer globo Aerocene se elevó en el cielo flameando una wiphala, bandera del Estado Plurinacional de Bolivia como símbolo de hermandad con los pueblos andinos. Otro Aerocene voló con un gps para generar un aeroglifo, firma aérea en rechazo a los golpes de estado en América.

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Durante el transcurso de la mañana se realizaron varias actividades. Guadalupe Boado de La Residuoteca junto con Ismael Romero Vargas de Agua alta dieron una charla sobre residuos y un taller de experimentación con botellas de plástico.

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Mientras tanto, Amalia Boselli brindó un taller literario Futuro (s) posible (s) de “vuelo poético”, abierto a niñxs y adultos. A partir de cartas con  palabras o imágenes alusivas al aire/cosmos/planeta/viento/sol/agua que se hacen volar en una alfombra mágica y cual cadáver exquisito se propuso un juego de crear una historia colectiva para hacer volar en el globo hacia otros mundos posibles. La actividad que propone Amalia se trata entonces de un taller de poesía en vuelo que  invita, mientras los globos levantan vuelo, a levantar vuelo con nuestras imaginaciones.

La Comunidad del Sol

Fue un texto que salió de las cartas que le tocaron a Lucía, alumna de sexto grado de la Escuela N˚ 8.

Habitar dos  mundos.

Autora: Nadia Bustos 10 años

Si te interesó el taller de Vuelo Poético, podés bajar la propuesta en PDF haciendo click aquí.

Alrededor del mediodía comenzamos a inflar el Museo Aero solar creado por los científicos de IBYME, lo que generó momentos de gran alboroto y algarabía principalmente entre los más pequeños.

Finalmente, todos fueron embarcando una vez más para luego despedirnos desde las lanchas  hasta la próxima…

Participaron los siguientes miembros de la comunidad de Aerocene en Argentina:

Camille Valenzuela

Gabriela Sorbi

Amalia Boselli

Guadalupe Boado

Maxi Laina

Olivia Laina

Mirko Laina

Joaquín Ezcurra

Movimento Ar livre! – Aerocene rising in São Paulo, Brasil

Join Aerocene!

On 20th October at 10:30 am, Aerocene Community will reunite in São Paulo for a collective action supporting climate change awa(i)reness towards a movement for free from fossil-fuel futures.

If the weather allows it – a sunny day and no winds – we will be ON AIR completely free of carbon emissions in front of MASP, Av. Paulista, 1578 – Bela Vista, São Paulo – SP, 01310-200.
++++ Please scroll down for English version ++++
Junte-se ao Aerocene! No dia 20 de outubro, às 10h, a Comunidade Aerocene se reunirá em São Paulo para uma ação coletiva em apoio a um movimento por um futuro sem combustíveis fósseis. Se o tempo permitir – um dia ensolarado e sem vento – estaremos no AR sem emissões de dióxido de carbono no vão livre do MASP, Av. Paulista, 1578 – Bela Vista, São Paulo – SP, 01310-200. São Paulo é uma cidade de recordes. Sendo a maior cidade do hemisfério sul e ocidental, sua geografia mudou tão rapidamente no século passado que por muito tempo foi impossível mapear sua extensão. Hoje a imigração tem taxas menores de crescimento do que no passado e o tecido urbano está se consolidando, o Google Street View explorou a maioria dos cantos da cidade, mesmo em áreas que a classe média considera muito arriscadas para uma caminhada. Todas as manifestações de um novo regime climático estão presentes aqui: o movimento pelo direito à moradia está crescendo; os processos de integração esbarram contra um quadro colonial muito presente e as políticas de bem-estar estão longe de ser um padrão. Não é de estranhar que o congestionamento urbano tenha produzido uma zona extremamente poluída, entre os vários índices alarmantes a mencionar está o das partículas em suspensão da poluição atmosférica, que se situa, em média, entre 20 e 25 microgramas por metro cúbico – mais do dobro do considerado seguro pela Organização Mundial de Saúde. Em todo o estado de São Paulo, a poluição do ar tem sido citada como responsável pela morte de cerca de 100 mil pessoas entre 2006 e 2011 por doenças respiratórias. No entanto, morar em São Paulo pode ser uma experiência agradável para quem consegue compensar o estresse da megalópole acessando as inúmeras estruturas – por uma preço – ou se permitindo uma melhor qualidade do ar através das experiências filtradas de construção equipada e carros refrigerados. Independentemente da origem social, viver em São Paulo significa confrontar-se com as consequências de um modelo de crescimento que requer uma enorme quantidade de recursos para manter um regime hiperconsumista. Quando essa voracidade encontra os piores programas políticos, alimenta uma extração irresponsável de recursos, um consumo selvagem e criminoso que consome em ritmo insensato um dos tesouros mais preciosos do Brasil — uma área natural impressionante que abriga comunidades indígenas que lutam para proteger a biodiversidade contra lucros privados e corporativos. Queremos decolar em São Paulo para ampliar nossos horizontes e ver o patrimônio natural acima da periferia urbana, pois o Brasil abriga 70% das espécies animais e vegetais listadas no mundo e é o país com o maior número de povos indígenas isolados. Aerocene vai flutuar no ar da cidade poluída para discutir um novo regime econômico que se opõe ao desmatamento amazônico e celebrar o grande esforço que as comunidades indígenas estão fazendo para proteger o ecossistema para todos nós. Se você quer se tornar um aeronaut conosco, por favor, mantenha-se atualizado sobre as ações do aero solar – confira nossos canais de mídia social. Sigue a ação coletiva em São Paulo em WHATSAPP: TELEGRAM: FACEBOOK EVENT. Em direcção a outros futuros possíveis, vamos nos livrar dos combustíveis fósseis – junte-se ao Aerocene! ++++ English version ++++ Join Aerocene! On 20th October at 10:00 am, Aerocene Community will reunite in São Paulo for a collective action supporting climate change awa(i)reness towards a movement for free from fossil fuel futures. If the weather allows it – a sunny day and no winds – we will be ON AIR completely free of carbon emissions in front of MASP, Av. Paulista, 1578 – Bela Vista, São Paulo – SP, 01310-200. São Paulo is a city of records. Being the biggest city in the Southern and in the Western Hemisphere, its geography has been changing so quickly in the past century that for long has been impossible to maps its extensions. Nowadays the immigration is not racing anymore and the urban fabric is consolidating, Google Street View explored most of the corner of the city, even in areas that the middle class would mark too risky for a night walk. All the amplitudes of the new climate regime is a real struggle here: the movement demanding housing for humans is rising (a fight for a very basic human right); integration seems to crash everyday against a still heavy colonial framework and welfare politics are far from being a standard. Not surprisingly the urban congestion causes an extremely polluted area, among various alarming indexes worth to mention is the air pollution particulates averaging 20 to 25 micrograms per cubic meter — over twice what is deemed safe by the World Health Organization. Across the entire state of São Paulo, air pollution has been cited as responsible for the death of nearly 100,000 people from 2006 to 2011 from respiratory illnesses. Living in São Paulo is a more pleasant experience to anybody that can compensate the stress of living in the megalopolis accessing the countless – paid – facilities, or granting himself a better air quality through filtered experiences in decent building and refreshed cars. Living in São Paulo means confronting – regardless the social extraction – with the consequences of a growth model that demands a massive amount of resources to maintain itself in obligation to consumeristic pledges. When hunger reaches the worst political agenda it fuels an irresponsible extraction of resources, a savage and brainless overconsumption that chew one of the most precious treasure of Brasil, an impressive area of natural area which is home of indigenous communities that are fighting to protect the natural biodiversity of their habitat against corporative and private profits. We want to take off in São Paulo to broaden our horizons and see above the urban outskirts the natural heritages as Brazil is home to 70% of the world’s catalogued animal and plant species, and the country with the largest number of uncontacted indigenous peoples in the World. Aerocene will be floating in the heavily polluted city’s air to discuss a new economic regime that stands against the Amazon deforestation and celebrate the great effort that the indigenous communities are doing to protect the ecosystem for all of us. If you want to become an Aeronaut with us, please keep yourself updated with aerosolar actions – check our social media channels and: Follow the São Paulo collective action on WHATSAPP: TELEGRAM: FB EVENT: Towards other possible futures, we move free from fossil fuels – Aerocene unite!
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