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The Spider Webbed Art Experience of Tomás Saraceno's In Orbit

The Spider Webbed Art Experience of Tomás Saraceno's In Orbit


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A massive interactive art exhibit by Tomás Saraceno called In Orbit has been assembled under a vast glass dome ceiling at the K21 Museum in Düsseldorf, Germany. Planned to remain on display until fall 2014, the installation is made using steel wire mesh and transparent orbits which come together in a surreal landscape reminiscent of a sea of clouds — on which visitors are invited to climb. As visitors move across the nets and inside spheres, their movements cause vibrations like a real spider web, which combined with heights exceeding 80 feet, create a fascinating spatial experience.
"To describe the work means to describe the people who use it — and their emotions," Saraceno said of his exhibit in an interview with Art Daily. "When I look at the multi-layered levels of diaphanous lines and spheres, I am reminded of models of the universe that depict the forces of gravity and planetary bodies. For me, the work visualizes the space-time continuum, the three-dimensional web of a spider, [and] the ramifications of tissue in the brain, dark matter, or the structure of the universe. With In Orbit, proportions enter into new relationships; human bodies become planets, molecules, or social black holes."
The exhibit, which was planned over a period of three years in conjunction with engineers, architects, and biologists, is Saraceno's most elaborate installation to date. The wire mesh alone weighs three tons, the largest of the six spheres weighs over 600 pounds, and the entire web structure spans an area of almost 27,000 square feet. Visitors who are seen climbing on the installation appear to be swimming in the sky. The piece, incorporating concepts from nature and references from Jules Verne to American architect and visionary Richard Buckminster Fuller, is meant to instill emotions about life and death, thrill and fear, even for those visitors that choose to simply observe the exhibit.
The Düsseldorf Office of Tourism is offering a special package for visitors to the installation, which can be booked directly through its website.


In orbit

Suspended more than 25 meters above the piazza of the K21 is Tomás Saraceno&lsquos gigantic installation in orbit. This steel wire construction spans the museum&lsquos vast glass cupola on three different levels. Positioned within this net structure, which encompasses altogether 2500 m² , are half a dozen &bdquospheres&ldquo &ndash inflated spheres having diameters up to 8.5 meters. Visitors have access to this transparent installation, and can move freely between the spheres on all three levels.

in orbit resembles a surreal landscape, is reminiscent of a sea of clouds. Those bold enough to clamber high into the work set beneath the glass cupola perceive the museum visitors far below them from the lofty heights as tiny gures in a model world. Viewed from below or from intermediate levels of the Ständehaus, conversely, the people enmeshed in this net seem to be swimming in the sky.

This floating spatial configuration becomes an oscillating network of relationships, resonances, and synchronous communication. When several people enter the audacious construction simultaneously, their presence sets it into motion, altering the tension of the steel wires and the intervals between the three meshwork levels. Visitors can coordinate their activities within the space, and are able &ndash not unlike spiders in a web &ndash to perceive space through the medium of vibration. Saraceno himself speaks of a new hybrid form of communication.

By virtue of its magnitude and radicality, in orbit has no precedent in Saraceno&lsquos oeuvre to date. Even visitors who do not wish to climb the net or hang suspended above the abyss, but who choose instead to explore the installation in exclusively visual terms are confronted with themes of flight, falling, and floating, are inevitably gripped by the archetypal emotions associated with these states. &bdquoTo describe the work means to describe the people who use it &ndash and their emotions,&ldquo explains Saraceno. Rarely his any work of art zeroed in so directly on the emotional lives &ndash the fears and desires &ndash of beholders or intervened with such immediacy into the experiences of those who expose themselves to adventure.

in orbit was planned by Saraceno over a period of three years in collaboration with engineers, architects, and biologists, and is his most elaborate installation to date. And although the mesh construction alone weighs 3 tons, and the largest of the &bdquospheres&ldquo 300 kilos, this work &ndash which was adapted with precision to the unique setting of the Ständehaus &ndash seems decidedly lightweight, its fineness and stability calling to mind the structure of a spider&lsquos web. For many years, the artist has studied the methods by which various species of spider construct their webs, and he incorporates insights into their functionality, beauty, and strength into his own artistic praxis.

While the precise observation of nature and the conceptual development of its phenomena form the bases of Saraceno&lsquos work, art-historical references ranging from Jules Verne to the American architecture and visionary Richard Buckminster Fuller are noticeable as well. The worldwide realization of utopian architecture has been Saraceno&lsquos guiding theme in recent years. Each of his projects &ndash including in orbit &ndash is an element of the utopian large-scale project Air-Port-City, a floating city of the future.

Saraceno regards the cloud city as a socialist and utopian dream, and as a response to the growing uninhabitability of the earth, to worldwide population growth, and to dramatic ecological crises.


In orbit

Suspended more than 25 meters above the piazza of the K21 is Tomás Saraceno&lsquos gigantic installation in orbit. This steel wire construction spans the museum&lsquos vast glass cupola on three different levels. Positioned within this net structure, which encompasses altogether 2500 m² , are half a dozen &bdquospheres&ldquo &ndash inflated spheres having diameters up to 8.5 meters. Visitors have access to this transparent installation, and can move freely between the spheres on all three levels.

in orbit resembles a surreal landscape, is reminiscent of a sea of clouds. Those bold enough to clamber high into the work set beneath the glass cupola perceive the museum visitors far below them from the lofty heights as tiny gures in a model world. Viewed from below or from intermediate levels of the Ständehaus, conversely, the people enmeshed in this net seem to be swimming in the sky.

This floating spatial configuration becomes an oscillating network of relationships, resonances, and synchronous communication. When several people enter the audacious construction simultaneously, their presence sets it into motion, altering the tension of the steel wires and the intervals between the three meshwork levels. Visitors can coordinate their activities within the space, and are able &ndash not unlike spiders in a web &ndash to perceive space through the medium of vibration. Saraceno himself speaks of a new hybrid form of communication.

By virtue of its magnitude and radicality, in orbit has no precedent in Saraceno&lsquos oeuvre to date. Even visitors who do not wish to climb the net or hang suspended above the abyss, but who choose instead to explore the installation in exclusively visual terms are confronted with themes of flight, falling, and floating, are inevitably gripped by the archetypal emotions associated with these states. &bdquoTo describe the work means to describe the people who use it &ndash and their emotions,&ldquo explains Saraceno. Rarely his any work of art zeroed in so directly on the emotional lives &ndash the fears and desires &ndash of beholders or intervened with such immediacy into the experiences of those who expose themselves to adventure.

in orbit was planned by Saraceno over a period of three years in collaboration with engineers, architects, and biologists, and is his most elaborate installation to date. And although the mesh construction alone weighs 3 tons, and the largest of the &bdquospheres&ldquo 300 kilos, this work &ndash which was adapted with precision to the unique setting of the Ständehaus &ndash seems decidedly lightweight, its fineness and stability calling to mind the structure of a spider&lsquos web. For many years, the artist has studied the methods by which various species of spider construct their webs, and he incorporates insights into their functionality, beauty, and strength into his own artistic praxis.

While the precise observation of nature and the conceptual development of its phenomena form the bases of Saraceno&lsquos work, art-historical references ranging from Jules Verne to the American architecture and visionary Richard Buckminster Fuller are noticeable as well. The worldwide realization of utopian architecture has been Saraceno&lsquos guiding theme in recent years. Each of his projects &ndash including in orbit &ndash is an element of the utopian large-scale project Air-Port-City, a floating city of the future.

Saraceno regards the cloud city as a socialist and utopian dream, and as a response to the growing uninhabitability of the earth, to worldwide population growth, and to dramatic ecological crises.


In orbit

Suspended more than 25 meters above the piazza of the K21 is Tomás Saraceno&lsquos gigantic installation in orbit. This steel wire construction spans the museum&lsquos vast glass cupola on three different levels. Positioned within this net structure, which encompasses altogether 2500 m² , are half a dozen &bdquospheres&ldquo &ndash inflated spheres having diameters up to 8.5 meters. Visitors have access to this transparent installation, and can move freely between the spheres on all three levels.

in orbit resembles a surreal landscape, is reminiscent of a sea of clouds. Those bold enough to clamber high into the work set beneath the glass cupola perceive the museum visitors far below them from the lofty heights as tiny gures in a model world. Viewed from below or from intermediate levels of the Ständehaus, conversely, the people enmeshed in this net seem to be swimming in the sky.

This floating spatial configuration becomes an oscillating network of relationships, resonances, and synchronous communication. When several people enter the audacious construction simultaneously, their presence sets it into motion, altering the tension of the steel wires and the intervals between the three meshwork levels. Visitors can coordinate their activities within the space, and are able &ndash not unlike spiders in a web &ndash to perceive space through the medium of vibration. Saraceno himself speaks of a new hybrid form of communication.

By virtue of its magnitude and radicality, in orbit has no precedent in Saraceno&lsquos oeuvre to date. Even visitors who do not wish to climb the net or hang suspended above the abyss, but who choose instead to explore the installation in exclusively visual terms are confronted with themes of flight, falling, and floating, are inevitably gripped by the archetypal emotions associated with these states. &bdquoTo describe the work means to describe the people who use it &ndash and their emotions,&ldquo explains Saraceno. Rarely his any work of art zeroed in so directly on the emotional lives &ndash the fears and desires &ndash of beholders or intervened with such immediacy into the experiences of those who expose themselves to adventure.

in orbit was planned by Saraceno over a period of three years in collaboration with engineers, architects, and biologists, and is his most elaborate installation to date. And although the mesh construction alone weighs 3 tons, and the largest of the &bdquospheres&ldquo 300 kilos, this work &ndash which was adapted with precision to the unique setting of the Ständehaus &ndash seems decidedly lightweight, its fineness and stability calling to mind the structure of a spider&lsquos web. For many years, the artist has studied the methods by which various species of spider construct their webs, and he incorporates insights into their functionality, beauty, and strength into his own artistic praxis.

While the precise observation of nature and the conceptual development of its phenomena form the bases of Saraceno&lsquos work, art-historical references ranging from Jules Verne to the American architecture and visionary Richard Buckminster Fuller are noticeable as well. The worldwide realization of utopian architecture has been Saraceno&lsquos guiding theme in recent years. Each of his projects &ndash including in orbit &ndash is an element of the utopian large-scale project Air-Port-City, a floating city of the future.

Saraceno regards the cloud city as a socialist and utopian dream, and as a response to the growing uninhabitability of the earth, to worldwide population growth, and to dramatic ecological crises.


In orbit

Suspended more than 25 meters above the piazza of the K21 is Tomás Saraceno&lsquos gigantic installation in orbit. This steel wire construction spans the museum&lsquos vast glass cupola on three different levels. Positioned within this net structure, which encompasses altogether 2500 m² , are half a dozen &bdquospheres&ldquo &ndash inflated spheres having diameters up to 8.5 meters. Visitors have access to this transparent installation, and can move freely between the spheres on all three levels.

in orbit resembles a surreal landscape, is reminiscent of a sea of clouds. Those bold enough to clamber high into the work set beneath the glass cupola perceive the museum visitors far below them from the lofty heights as tiny gures in a model world. Viewed from below or from intermediate levels of the Ständehaus, conversely, the people enmeshed in this net seem to be swimming in the sky.

This floating spatial configuration becomes an oscillating network of relationships, resonances, and synchronous communication. When several people enter the audacious construction simultaneously, their presence sets it into motion, altering the tension of the steel wires and the intervals between the three meshwork levels. Visitors can coordinate their activities within the space, and are able &ndash not unlike spiders in a web &ndash to perceive space through the medium of vibration. Saraceno himself speaks of a new hybrid form of communication.

By virtue of its magnitude and radicality, in orbit has no precedent in Saraceno&lsquos oeuvre to date. Even visitors who do not wish to climb the net or hang suspended above the abyss, but who choose instead to explore the installation in exclusively visual terms are confronted with themes of flight, falling, and floating, are inevitably gripped by the archetypal emotions associated with these states. &bdquoTo describe the work means to describe the people who use it &ndash and their emotions,&ldquo explains Saraceno. Rarely his any work of art zeroed in so directly on the emotional lives &ndash the fears and desires &ndash of beholders or intervened with such immediacy into the experiences of those who expose themselves to adventure.

in orbit was planned by Saraceno over a period of three years in collaboration with engineers, architects, and biologists, and is his most elaborate installation to date. And although the mesh construction alone weighs 3 tons, and the largest of the &bdquospheres&ldquo 300 kilos, this work &ndash which was adapted with precision to the unique setting of the Ständehaus &ndash seems decidedly lightweight, its fineness and stability calling to mind the structure of a spider&lsquos web. For many years, the artist has studied the methods by which various species of spider construct their webs, and he incorporates insights into their functionality, beauty, and strength into his own artistic praxis.

While the precise observation of nature and the conceptual development of its phenomena form the bases of Saraceno&lsquos work, art-historical references ranging from Jules Verne to the American architecture and visionary Richard Buckminster Fuller are noticeable as well. The worldwide realization of utopian architecture has been Saraceno&lsquos guiding theme in recent years. Each of his projects &ndash including in orbit &ndash is an element of the utopian large-scale project Air-Port-City, a floating city of the future.

Saraceno regards the cloud city as a socialist and utopian dream, and as a response to the growing uninhabitability of the earth, to worldwide population growth, and to dramatic ecological crises.


In orbit

Suspended more than 25 meters above the piazza of the K21 is Tomás Saraceno&lsquos gigantic installation in orbit. This steel wire construction spans the museum&lsquos vast glass cupola on three different levels. Positioned within this net structure, which encompasses altogether 2500 m² , are half a dozen &bdquospheres&ldquo &ndash inflated spheres having diameters up to 8.5 meters. Visitors have access to this transparent installation, and can move freely between the spheres on all three levels.

in orbit resembles a surreal landscape, is reminiscent of a sea of clouds. Those bold enough to clamber high into the work set beneath the glass cupola perceive the museum visitors far below them from the lofty heights as tiny gures in a model world. Viewed from below or from intermediate levels of the Ständehaus, conversely, the people enmeshed in this net seem to be swimming in the sky.

This floating spatial configuration becomes an oscillating network of relationships, resonances, and synchronous communication. When several people enter the audacious construction simultaneously, their presence sets it into motion, altering the tension of the steel wires and the intervals between the three meshwork levels. Visitors can coordinate their activities within the space, and are able &ndash not unlike spiders in a web &ndash to perceive space through the medium of vibration. Saraceno himself speaks of a new hybrid form of communication.

By virtue of its magnitude and radicality, in orbit has no precedent in Saraceno&lsquos oeuvre to date. Even visitors who do not wish to climb the net or hang suspended above the abyss, but who choose instead to explore the installation in exclusively visual terms are confronted with themes of flight, falling, and floating, are inevitably gripped by the archetypal emotions associated with these states. &bdquoTo describe the work means to describe the people who use it &ndash and their emotions,&ldquo explains Saraceno. Rarely his any work of art zeroed in so directly on the emotional lives &ndash the fears and desires &ndash of beholders or intervened with such immediacy into the experiences of those who expose themselves to adventure.

in orbit was planned by Saraceno over a period of three years in collaboration with engineers, architects, and biologists, and is his most elaborate installation to date. And although the mesh construction alone weighs 3 tons, and the largest of the &bdquospheres&ldquo 300 kilos, this work &ndash which was adapted with precision to the unique setting of the Ständehaus &ndash seems decidedly lightweight, its fineness and stability calling to mind the structure of a spider&lsquos web. For many years, the artist has studied the methods by which various species of spider construct their webs, and he incorporates insights into their functionality, beauty, and strength into his own artistic praxis.

While the precise observation of nature and the conceptual development of its phenomena form the bases of Saraceno&lsquos work, art-historical references ranging from Jules Verne to the American architecture and visionary Richard Buckminster Fuller are noticeable as well. The worldwide realization of utopian architecture has been Saraceno&lsquos guiding theme in recent years. Each of his projects &ndash including in orbit &ndash is an element of the utopian large-scale project Air-Port-City, a floating city of the future.

Saraceno regards the cloud city as a socialist and utopian dream, and as a response to the growing uninhabitability of the earth, to worldwide population growth, and to dramatic ecological crises.


In orbit

Suspended more than 25 meters above the piazza of the K21 is Tomás Saraceno&lsquos gigantic installation in orbit. This steel wire construction spans the museum&lsquos vast glass cupola on three different levels. Positioned within this net structure, which encompasses altogether 2500 m² , are half a dozen &bdquospheres&ldquo &ndash inflated spheres having diameters up to 8.5 meters. Visitors have access to this transparent installation, and can move freely between the spheres on all three levels.

in orbit resembles a surreal landscape, is reminiscent of a sea of clouds. Those bold enough to clamber high into the work set beneath the glass cupola perceive the museum visitors far below them from the lofty heights as tiny gures in a model world. Viewed from below or from intermediate levels of the Ständehaus, conversely, the people enmeshed in this net seem to be swimming in the sky.

This floating spatial configuration becomes an oscillating network of relationships, resonances, and synchronous communication. When several people enter the audacious construction simultaneously, their presence sets it into motion, altering the tension of the steel wires and the intervals between the three meshwork levels. Visitors can coordinate their activities within the space, and are able &ndash not unlike spiders in a web &ndash to perceive space through the medium of vibration. Saraceno himself speaks of a new hybrid form of communication.

By virtue of its magnitude and radicality, in orbit has no precedent in Saraceno&lsquos oeuvre to date. Even visitors who do not wish to climb the net or hang suspended above the abyss, but who choose instead to explore the installation in exclusively visual terms are confronted with themes of flight, falling, and floating, are inevitably gripped by the archetypal emotions associated with these states. &bdquoTo describe the work means to describe the people who use it &ndash and their emotions,&ldquo explains Saraceno. Rarely his any work of art zeroed in so directly on the emotional lives &ndash the fears and desires &ndash of beholders or intervened with such immediacy into the experiences of those who expose themselves to adventure.

in orbit was planned by Saraceno over a period of three years in collaboration with engineers, architects, and biologists, and is his most elaborate installation to date. And although the mesh construction alone weighs 3 tons, and the largest of the &bdquospheres&ldquo 300 kilos, this work &ndash which was adapted with precision to the unique setting of the Ständehaus &ndash seems decidedly lightweight, its fineness and stability calling to mind the structure of a spider&lsquos web. For many years, the artist has studied the methods by which various species of spider construct their webs, and he incorporates insights into their functionality, beauty, and strength into his own artistic praxis.

While the precise observation of nature and the conceptual development of its phenomena form the bases of Saraceno&lsquos work, art-historical references ranging from Jules Verne to the American architecture and visionary Richard Buckminster Fuller are noticeable as well. The worldwide realization of utopian architecture has been Saraceno&lsquos guiding theme in recent years. Each of his projects &ndash including in orbit &ndash is an element of the utopian large-scale project Air-Port-City, a floating city of the future.

Saraceno regards the cloud city as a socialist and utopian dream, and as a response to the growing uninhabitability of the earth, to worldwide population growth, and to dramatic ecological crises.


In orbit

Suspended more than 25 meters above the piazza of the K21 is Tomás Saraceno&lsquos gigantic installation in orbit. This steel wire construction spans the museum&lsquos vast glass cupola on three different levels. Positioned within this net structure, which encompasses altogether 2500 m² , are half a dozen &bdquospheres&ldquo &ndash inflated spheres having diameters up to 8.5 meters. Visitors have access to this transparent installation, and can move freely between the spheres on all three levels.

in orbit resembles a surreal landscape, is reminiscent of a sea of clouds. Those bold enough to clamber high into the work set beneath the glass cupola perceive the museum visitors far below them from the lofty heights as tiny gures in a model world. Viewed from below or from intermediate levels of the Ständehaus, conversely, the people enmeshed in this net seem to be swimming in the sky.

This floating spatial configuration becomes an oscillating network of relationships, resonances, and synchronous communication. When several people enter the audacious construction simultaneously, their presence sets it into motion, altering the tension of the steel wires and the intervals between the three meshwork levels. Visitors can coordinate their activities within the space, and are able &ndash not unlike spiders in a web &ndash to perceive space through the medium of vibration. Saraceno himself speaks of a new hybrid form of communication.

By virtue of its magnitude and radicality, in orbit has no precedent in Saraceno&lsquos oeuvre to date. Even visitors who do not wish to climb the net or hang suspended above the abyss, but who choose instead to explore the installation in exclusively visual terms are confronted with themes of flight, falling, and floating, are inevitably gripped by the archetypal emotions associated with these states. &bdquoTo describe the work means to describe the people who use it &ndash and their emotions,&ldquo explains Saraceno. Rarely his any work of art zeroed in so directly on the emotional lives &ndash the fears and desires &ndash of beholders or intervened with such immediacy into the experiences of those who expose themselves to adventure.

in orbit was planned by Saraceno over a period of three years in collaboration with engineers, architects, and biologists, and is his most elaborate installation to date. And although the mesh construction alone weighs 3 tons, and the largest of the &bdquospheres&ldquo 300 kilos, this work &ndash which was adapted with precision to the unique setting of the Ständehaus &ndash seems decidedly lightweight, its fineness and stability calling to mind the structure of a spider&lsquos web. For many years, the artist has studied the methods by which various species of spider construct their webs, and he incorporates insights into their functionality, beauty, and strength into his own artistic praxis.

While the precise observation of nature and the conceptual development of its phenomena form the bases of Saraceno&lsquos work, art-historical references ranging from Jules Verne to the American architecture and visionary Richard Buckminster Fuller are noticeable as well. The worldwide realization of utopian architecture has been Saraceno&lsquos guiding theme in recent years. Each of his projects &ndash including in orbit &ndash is an element of the utopian large-scale project Air-Port-City, a floating city of the future.

Saraceno regards the cloud city as a socialist and utopian dream, and as a response to the growing uninhabitability of the earth, to worldwide population growth, and to dramatic ecological crises.


In orbit

Suspended more than 25 meters above the piazza of the K21 is Tomás Saraceno&lsquos gigantic installation in orbit. This steel wire construction spans the museum&lsquos vast glass cupola on three different levels. Positioned within this net structure, which encompasses altogether 2500 m² , are half a dozen &bdquospheres&ldquo &ndash inflated spheres having diameters up to 8.5 meters. Visitors have access to this transparent installation, and can move freely between the spheres on all three levels.

in orbit resembles a surreal landscape, is reminiscent of a sea of clouds. Those bold enough to clamber high into the work set beneath the glass cupola perceive the museum visitors far below them from the lofty heights as tiny gures in a model world. Viewed from below or from intermediate levels of the Ständehaus, conversely, the people enmeshed in this net seem to be swimming in the sky.

This floating spatial configuration becomes an oscillating network of relationships, resonances, and synchronous communication. When several people enter the audacious construction simultaneously, their presence sets it into motion, altering the tension of the steel wires and the intervals between the three meshwork levels. Visitors can coordinate their activities within the space, and are able &ndash not unlike spiders in a web &ndash to perceive space through the medium of vibration. Saraceno himself speaks of a new hybrid form of communication.

By virtue of its magnitude and radicality, in orbit has no precedent in Saraceno&lsquos oeuvre to date. Even visitors who do not wish to climb the net or hang suspended above the abyss, but who choose instead to explore the installation in exclusively visual terms are confronted with themes of flight, falling, and floating, are inevitably gripped by the archetypal emotions associated with these states. &bdquoTo describe the work means to describe the people who use it &ndash and their emotions,&ldquo explains Saraceno. Rarely his any work of art zeroed in so directly on the emotional lives &ndash the fears and desires &ndash of beholders or intervened with such immediacy into the experiences of those who expose themselves to adventure.

in orbit was planned by Saraceno over a period of three years in collaboration with engineers, architects, and biologists, and is his most elaborate installation to date. And although the mesh construction alone weighs 3 tons, and the largest of the &bdquospheres&ldquo 300 kilos, this work &ndash which was adapted with precision to the unique setting of the Ständehaus &ndash seems decidedly lightweight, its fineness and stability calling to mind the structure of a spider&lsquos web. For many years, the artist has studied the methods by which various species of spider construct their webs, and he incorporates insights into their functionality, beauty, and strength into his own artistic praxis.

While the precise observation of nature and the conceptual development of its phenomena form the bases of Saraceno&lsquos work, art-historical references ranging from Jules Verne to the American architecture and visionary Richard Buckminster Fuller are noticeable as well. The worldwide realization of utopian architecture has been Saraceno&lsquos guiding theme in recent years. Each of his projects &ndash including in orbit &ndash is an element of the utopian large-scale project Air-Port-City, a floating city of the future.

Saraceno regards the cloud city as a socialist and utopian dream, and as a response to the growing uninhabitability of the earth, to worldwide population growth, and to dramatic ecological crises.


In orbit

Suspended more than 25 meters above the piazza of the K21 is Tomás Saraceno&lsquos gigantic installation in orbit. This steel wire construction spans the museum&lsquos vast glass cupola on three different levels. Positioned within this net structure, which encompasses altogether 2500 m² , are half a dozen &bdquospheres&ldquo &ndash inflated spheres having diameters up to 8.5 meters. Visitors have access to this transparent installation, and can move freely between the spheres on all three levels.

in orbit resembles a surreal landscape, is reminiscent of a sea of clouds. Those bold enough to clamber high into the work set beneath the glass cupola perceive the museum visitors far below them from the lofty heights as tiny gures in a model world. Viewed from below or from intermediate levels of the Ständehaus, conversely, the people enmeshed in this net seem to be swimming in the sky.

This floating spatial configuration becomes an oscillating network of relationships, resonances, and synchronous communication. When several people enter the audacious construction simultaneously, their presence sets it into motion, altering the tension of the steel wires and the intervals between the three meshwork levels. Visitors can coordinate their activities within the space, and are able &ndash not unlike spiders in a web &ndash to perceive space through the medium of vibration. Saraceno himself speaks of a new hybrid form of communication.

By virtue of its magnitude and radicality, in orbit has no precedent in Saraceno&lsquos oeuvre to date. Even visitors who do not wish to climb the net or hang suspended above the abyss, but who choose instead to explore the installation in exclusively visual terms are confronted with themes of flight, falling, and floating, are inevitably gripped by the archetypal emotions associated with these states. &bdquoTo describe the work means to describe the people who use it &ndash and their emotions,&ldquo explains Saraceno. Rarely his any work of art zeroed in so directly on the emotional lives &ndash the fears and desires &ndash of beholders or intervened with such immediacy into the experiences of those who expose themselves to adventure.

in orbit was planned by Saraceno over a period of three years in collaboration with engineers, architects, and biologists, and is his most elaborate installation to date. And although the mesh construction alone weighs 3 tons, and the largest of the &bdquospheres&ldquo 300 kilos, this work &ndash which was adapted with precision to the unique setting of the Ständehaus &ndash seems decidedly lightweight, its fineness and stability calling to mind the structure of a spider&lsquos web. For many years, the artist has studied the methods by which various species of spider construct their webs, and he incorporates insights into their functionality, beauty, and strength into his own artistic praxis.

While the precise observation of nature and the conceptual development of its phenomena form the bases of Saraceno&lsquos work, art-historical references ranging from Jules Verne to the American architecture and visionary Richard Buckminster Fuller are noticeable as well. The worldwide realization of utopian architecture has been Saraceno&lsquos guiding theme in recent years. Each of his projects &ndash including in orbit &ndash is an element of the utopian large-scale project Air-Port-City, a floating city of the future.

Saraceno regards the cloud city as a socialist and utopian dream, and as a response to the growing uninhabitability of the earth, to worldwide population growth, and to dramatic ecological crises.


In orbit

Suspended more than 25 meters above the piazza of the K21 is Tomás Saraceno&lsquos gigantic installation in orbit. This steel wire construction spans the museum&lsquos vast glass cupola on three different levels. Positioned within this net structure, which encompasses altogether 2500 m² , are half a dozen &bdquospheres&ldquo &ndash inflated spheres having diameters up to 8.5 meters. Visitors have access to this transparent installation, and can move freely between the spheres on all three levels.

in orbit resembles a surreal landscape, is reminiscent of a sea of clouds. Those bold enough to clamber high into the work set beneath the glass cupola perceive the museum visitors far below them from the lofty heights as tiny gures in a model world. Viewed from below or from intermediate levels of the Ständehaus, conversely, the people enmeshed in this net seem to be swimming in the sky.

This floating spatial configuration becomes an oscillating network of relationships, resonances, and synchronous communication. When several people enter the audacious construction simultaneously, their presence sets it into motion, altering the tension of the steel wires and the intervals between the three meshwork levels. Visitors can coordinate their activities within the space, and are able &ndash not unlike spiders in a web &ndash to perceive space through the medium of vibration. Saraceno himself speaks of a new hybrid form of communication.

By virtue of its magnitude and radicality, in orbit has no precedent in Saraceno&lsquos oeuvre to date. Even visitors who do not wish to climb the net or hang suspended above the abyss, but who choose instead to explore the installation in exclusively visual terms are confronted with themes of flight, falling, and floating, are inevitably gripped by the archetypal emotions associated with these states. &bdquoTo describe the work means to describe the people who use it &ndash and their emotions,&ldquo explains Saraceno. Rarely his any work of art zeroed in so directly on the emotional lives &ndash the fears and desires &ndash of beholders or intervened with such immediacy into the experiences of those who expose themselves to adventure.

in orbit was planned by Saraceno over a period of three years in collaboration with engineers, architects, and biologists, and is his most elaborate installation to date. And although the mesh construction alone weighs 3 tons, and the largest of the &bdquospheres&ldquo 300 kilos, this work &ndash which was adapted with precision to the unique setting of the Ständehaus &ndash seems decidedly lightweight, its fineness and stability calling to mind the structure of a spider&lsquos web. For many years, the artist has studied the methods by which various species of spider construct their webs, and he incorporates insights into their functionality, beauty, and strength into his own artistic praxis.

While the precise observation of nature and the conceptual development of its phenomena form the bases of Saraceno&lsquos work, art-historical references ranging from Jules Verne to the American architecture and visionary Richard Buckminster Fuller are noticeable as well. The worldwide realization of utopian architecture has been Saraceno&lsquos guiding theme in recent years. Each of his projects &ndash including in orbit &ndash is an element of the utopian large-scale project Air-Port-City, a floating city of the future.

Saraceno regards the cloud city as a socialist and utopian dream, and as a response to the growing uninhabitability of the earth, to worldwide population growth, and to dramatic ecological crises.



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