Tomás Saraceno (University of Bristol)
Tomás Saraceno. Courtesy of the artist.
Artist Tomás Saraceno is working with Situations to develop a new public artwork for The University of Bristol’s Life Sciences Building. This commission is the second in a series of major commissions with the University of Bristol which began with Jeppe Hein’s Follow Me.
Commissioned as part of the University of Bristol’s masterplan (SPD 11), the work will be situated at the new Life Sciences building which is part of a wider development scheme for the University estate in Central Bristol. This Strategic Masterplan has been developed to help the University strengthen its position as a world-class, research-intensive higher education organisation within the City of Bristol, capable of attracting internationally renowned academic staff and high quality students.
To read more about this commission visit Situations, UWE the producers of the commission at http://www.situations.org.uk/commission/tomas-saraceno/.
Tomás Saraceno’s installations look to the sky to see the possibilities of rethinking how we live in relation to one another and how we might re-organise the built environment and the cities we live in. In recent years Saraceno has experimented with suspended environments that are constructed from multiple helium-filled transparent balloons. One of his ongoing projects Air-Port-City envisions networks of habitable platforms that float in the air creating an aerial city, which is in constant physical transformation.
His more recent practice has led him to experiment with solar-powered air balloons. This area of Saraceno’s work applies principles of engineering, physics, chemistry, aeronautics, and architecture to experiment with solutions for airborne living spaces. For example in periodic collaboration with the Buckminster Fuller Virtual Institute he has realised the largest solar-powered geodesic balloon ever built and this year as part of Arnolfini’s 50th anniversary he created Museo Aero Solar, an ever-growing solar powered balloon, made from hundreds of recycled plastic bags. The balloon will continue to grow with new sections being added as it is re-assembled in different cities around the world.
Saraceno has exhibited internationally at Maison Hermes, Tokyo; Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, St. Louis, MO; Hamburger Bahnhof, Berlin, Germany; Bonniers Konsthall, Stockholm, Sweden; BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead, UK; Walker Arts Center, Minneapolis, MN and The Art Museum of the University of Houston, Houston.
Situations is an art commissioning and research programme which operates from a University base, but produces artworks, events and publications outside the academic context. The programme was initiated in October 2003 by Claire Doherty, who is Senior Research Fellow in Fine Art at the University of the West of England, Bristol. From the start, the programme’s guiding principles were to combine the ambition of a commissioning agency model with the critical rigiour of an academic research centre. We believe that artists have the capacity to bring something we might never have imagined to a particular place and we are committed to realising those dreams. Curating is far more than project management to us. It is a creative, critical and often passionate undertaking where we seek to understand the best possible means through which to support an artist to make an outstanding work of art in response to a specific situation.
University of Bristol
Situations, University of the West of England, Bristol
University of Bristol