We live in a remarkable geological moment in history, the anthropogenic era, when spontaneously over the course of millions of years, and increasingly in recent centuries, humans are becoming, intermittently yet inevitably, a geological force that changes the face of our planet.
The tenth Garage Atrium Commission is an installation by Argentinian artist Tomás Saraceno, who is known for his works at the intersection of art, technology, and environmental advocacy.
A product of Saraceno’s long-standing occupation with lighter than air movement and utopian modes of co-existing, the installation for Garage is the largest presentation of his practice in Russia to date.
Moving Atmospheres, a partially mirrored sphere suspended in the air, propels us toward an Aerocene epoch. Saraceno’s call to this new era is championed by the multi-disciplinary community group Aerocene. For more than a decade he has been imagining a world free from the carbon, extractivism, capitalism, and patriarchy that fuels some forms of life, a new way of being with the atmosphere and emissions-free travel, free from solar panels, lithium, helium, hydrogen, and fossil fuels. This new era stands in stark contrast to the lingering eco-traumas of the Anthropocene, the current geological age in which some human capitalistic activity has been the dominant influence on climate and the environment.
With this unique artwork, conceived for Garage, Saraceno takes us a step closer toward this new era, working for the first time with a material that posits the sculpture as a working prototype for a balloon that is able to float around the world, fueled only by the air we breathe and the heat of the sun. The use of ETFE, an extremely durable translucent polymer, means the artwork performs a crucial next step in the development of aerosolar flights, a unique venture that distinguishes Saraceno’s practice.