Tomás Saraceno, Aerocene, launches at White Sands, 2015.
The exhibition ON AIR is an ecosystem in becoming, hosting a polyphonic choreography between human and non-human universes, where works reveal common, fragile and ephemeral rhythms and trajectories uniting these worlds. As a hybrid organism, ON AIR is made of a myriad of presences, animate and inanimate, that meet and cohabit within it. Some voices become quiet, whilst others, usually less heard in the world, are magnified. The exhibition functions as an ensemble, performing the illegible ties between events and sensibilities, the togetherness of earthly and cosmic phenomena, weaving a web of relations that cannot be described but maybe can be felt.
ON AIR proposes a space and time that reveals the strength of the presences floating in the air and the way they interact with us: from CO2 to cosmic dust, from radio infrastructures to reimagined corridors of mobility. Thus, the invisible histories that compose the nature we are part of invite us to rethink poetically new ways to inhabit the world – and of being human.
While extractivist activities that mine the Earth for resources continue to threaten entire ecologies, ON AIR celebrates new ways of thinking about our relation with the planet, through new modes of knowledge production. This is to open itself up to the debate and global challenges posed by the Anthropocene, a word proposed to define the current epoch we live in on Planet Earth, in which some human activities leave an impact so important that they profoundly modify terrestrial ecosystems. It is thus especially through the activities of Aerocene, an interdisciplinary artistic project initiated by Tomás Saraceno that seeks to reactivate a common imaginary to collaborate ethically with the atmosphere and the environment, that the visitors are invited to collectively engage in an urgent exercise of planetary attunement.
ON AIR echoes the artist’s practice as it gathers numerous collaborators and collaborations, bringing together scientific institutions, research groups, activists, local communities, visitors, musicians, philosophers, non-human animals, and celestial phenomena, all of whom equally take part in the evolution of the exhibition. Workshops, concerts, public symposiums regularly transform an exhibition that constantly remake the Palais de Tokyo into a vast “cosmic jam session”.
(Photo courtesy of Studio Tomás Saraceno, 2014, licensed under CC by Aerocene Foundation 4.0.)