On display until February 3rd at the HangarBicocca in Milan, the ‘On Space Time Foam’ suspended art exhibit by Studio Tomas Saraceno is composed of a transparent surface accessible to visitors, hanging at a height of 20 metres and covering 400 square metres on three layers, for a total of 1,200 square metres. Known for his surprising structures that draw the public into extraordinary spatial and emotional experiences, the large soft and floating film welcomes visitors who will thus find themselves moving mid-air between the floor and the ceiling, earth and sky, and it compels them to lose their spatial coordinates. More images and architects’ description after the break.
This work of creativity and scientific research was made possible through the interaction of skills and experiences in a broad array of fields of knowledge, and thanks to Pirelli’s support. On Space Time Foam is a structure composed of three levels of thin clear film raised and set on the walls of the “Cubo” at HangarBicocca covering an area of 400 square metres. Saraceno engages with the concept of boundary, challenging it and conceiving a pioneering device activated by the visitors’ participation.
On Space Time Foam transforms architecture into a living organism, one that breathes thanks to the movements of those who cross it, visualizing the infinite relationships that tie us to space. As the artist explains, “the films constituting the living core of HangarBicocca are constantly altered by climate and the simple movement of people. Each step, each breath, modifies the entire space: it is a metaphor for how our interrelations affect the Earth and other universes.”
According to the official biography of Tomás Saraceno, born in San Miguel de Tucumán, Argentina, 39 years ago, he “lives and works between and beyond the planet Earth”. An artist, architect and world citizen who has always studied alternate universes, Saraceno is bringing a brand-new site-specific installation to Milan, combining science and art. Curated by Andrea Lissoni, Saraceno’s project will flank Carsten Nicolai’s audiovisual installation unidisplay (until 2 December) and, during the winter, it will be part of a rich programme of free initiatives that HangarBicocca is offering different categories of visitors: guided tours, films and activities for children.
On Space Time Foam, which required months of engineering and static testing, represents an important moment in the study and experimentation process of Saraceno’s work, ever poised between the quest for the impossible and scientific rigor. The installation was created thanks to the collaboration of a team of engineers and Lindstrand Technologies, a leading company in the research and production of aerostatic materials and products, hot-air balloons and space vehicles also manufactured for the European Space Agency (ESA). The work at HangarBicocca is the accomplishment of a utopian dream, that of flight and lightness moving beyond the limitations of physics through the experimentation of new materials and techniques.
The outcome of the vision of this artist/architect, with elaborate scientific studies and synergies of different skills and experiences, the project has been made possible thanks to the support of Pirelli, which has built its corporate history – ever open to innovation – on the constant dialectic between the rigor of technological research and the ability to look at future scenarios.
On Space Time Foam is part of the research that has involved Saraceno for years on the creation of airborne systems, such as platforms that can change shape and be transformed thanks to public interaction. In his works the structural context, environmental forms and innovative materials come together to create projects with a powerful ideal impetus that can break down all disciplinary barriers and focus on the language of space and social dynamics. Cloudy City and Air-Port City are works in progress, systems and works that, as a whole, constitute a complex reflection on the major themes of the present as the need to conceive new lifestyles, new ways of traveling and communicating, and eco-sustainable solutions for the creation of non-standard architectures, new interpersonal relationships and, alternately, new forms of freedom.