Tomás Saracen made headlines when he launched his new hot air balloon. The catch? It’s made out of all recycled plastic bags. The behemoth looks like an artsy mosaic, beautiful in its quilt-like complexity. That iconic balloon is now on display as part of an exhibit called “Becoming Aerosolar,” which is in Austria at the 21er Haus art museum in Vienna and is on display through August 30. According to the official exhibition site, “‘Becoming Aerosolar,’ the long-term artistic inquiry, can be understood as a set of creative propositions that tries to imagine a metabolic and thermodynamic transformation of human societies’ relation with both the earth and the sun.” The exhibit was made out of co-writing exercises by Sasha Engelmann, Bronislaw Szerszynski and Tomás Saraceno, which bring together people from different intellectual areas, like artists, philosophers and sociologists, to explore the idea of being aerosolar. But the recycled bag hot air balloon really takes the cake. Saracen has a history of looking at models that propose a more sustainable attitude towards living. His work has revolved around the concept of Anthropocene, which the exhibit website defines as, “[a] term used to describe the current geological era in which our earth finds itself, defining the human being as the most important factor influencing the planet’s biological, geological and atmospheric processes.” In the past, Saracen has produced moving art playing with the idea of freeing “cloud cities,” which you can view here. Rodrigo Alfonso describes Saracen’s work as, “defying the traditional notion of space, time, gravity, consciousness and perception, as seen in his artistic proposals, whether of a social or community nature, depicting a utopian and participating nature. The sky and the land are interchanged in his installation, the gardens float and the persons fulfill their much longed for desire of flying.” The exhibit also details experiments during “Becoming Aerosolar” workshops and student events, where people worked with solar balloons and other aerosolar wonders.
Taking to the Sky with Plastic Bags and Solar Power
Oh, the things you can make with plastic bags ….