Tomás Saraceno: Entangled Air: Haggerty Museum of Art, Marquette University, Milwaukee
Argentina-born, Berlin-based artist Tomás Saraceno maintains a multidimensional practice that engages local communities, scientific researchers, and a studio team comprised of designers, architects, anthropologists, biologists, engineers, art historians and musicians. His multidisciplinary projects aim to reorient our understanding of our place in the world, ultimately building awareness that we exist as actors in a complex network of interconnected human and nonhuman forces.
For more than two decades, Saraceno has activated projects aimed towards rethinking the co-creation of the atmosphere with the goal of eliminating carbon emissions. The works in this exhibition speak to Saraceno’s ongoing desire to communicate the extent to which humans, animals and plants relate to the air. Within this codependent ecosystem, humans unequally share the air and disproportionately harm the atmosphere: combustion generated pollutants from burning coal, oil and natural gas have far-reaching impacts on public health and climate change.
Rather than using the term Anthropocene to describe how humankind has become a geological force, Saraceno invokes the term Capitalocene, or the social and ecological result of the exploitation of resources and people in globalized capitalism, to describe the present era. As a hopeful, future-oriented alternative that invites humans to relate differently to energy and natural resources, Saraceno devised Aerocene. This interdisciplinary and experimental movement brings together diverse artists, activists, geographers, philosophers and doers to propose alternative ways of being and operating in the world. Within his studio practice, Saraceno reimagines the notion of entangled air, creating works that are made, shaped, maintained, and moved by the air to inspire a more conscientious coexistence with the atmosphere.
Installation view above, Tomás Saraceno: Entangled Air, Haggerty Museum of Art, Marquette University, Milwaukee, 2023, Photo by M. von Haselberg.