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Tomás Saraceno

Artist 215

Tomás Saraceno Aerocene Foundation Hybrid Webs Tomás Saraceno (born in 1973) is an Argentinian contemporary artist. He is best known for his large-scale, interactive installations and floating sculptures, and for his interdisciplinary approach to art. Saraceno’s practice moves toward the entanglement of diverse threads of thought, including art, life science and the social sciences. Enmeshed at the junction of these worlds, his floating sculptures, community projects and interactive installations propose and explore new, sustainable ways of inhabiting and sensing the environment.

In his practice he explores new, sustainable ways of sensing and inhabiting the environment, the result of research into the origins of the observable universe, arachnology and the potential future for airborne dwelling. Saraceno launched the Aerocene Foundation in 2015. This foundation is an open-source, community project for artistic and scientific exploration of environmental issues.

Saraceno has conducted research in his studio into the woven habitats of spiders. This research was born out of Saraceno's interest in the origins of the cosmos and the structure of spacetime. The Earth, being set within a web-like structural dimension was the inspiration that propelled the research into comparisons between this, and natural phenomena within our planet; namely, spider webs. In developing this line of inquiry, Saraceno pioneered the invention of the first machine of its kind capable of scanning, digitising, and measuring a three dimensional spider web.

Within arachnology research, which is the scientific study of arachnids, Saraceno is the first person to have scanned, reconstructed and re-imagined spiders' woven spatial habitats, and possesses the only three-dimensional spider web collection in existence. This has gone on to create the 'Hybrid Webs' which is the collective term for a series of sculptures devised by Saraceno. Each sculpture, made entirely of spider silk is designed to appear as a unique, geometric galaxy floating in infinite space. Creating the sculptures means incorporating webs woven by spiders who are social, asocial or between the two.

During the building period, the sculptures are turned onto each side, allowing gravity to aid the interweaving of silk from different sorts of spider. The works' titles reveal the technical specifications of each sculptural element; the genus and species of spiders employed and the time taken by each spider to complete its web. The final sculpture is thereby an emblem of an encounter which might not otherwise have succeeded, and so prompts a reflection on human coexistence with ourselves and the natural world.


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