(b. 1973, San Miguel de Tucuman, Argentina)
In view of the predicaments facing planet Earth - the accelerating ecological crisis, overpopulation, the social and political effects of globalisation - Tomas Saraceno considers art as 'a space to imagine possible futures. It's a necessity to really think about how we want to live.' His experimental work encompasses utopian architectural proposals, inflatable sculptures and environmental installations that explore visionary ideas for a sustainable metropolis in the sky. These are manifested in his on-going project, Air-Port-City. Saraceno's clusters and constellations of transparent, balloon-like biospheres are inspired by structures and configurations found in nature - clouds, soap bubbles, spider webs, sponges - and his interdisciplinary interests and approaches have led him to collaborate with scientists at NASA as well as with engineers, chemist, botanists, astrophysicists and arachnologists. 'Utopia needs to include everyone and everything,' Saraceno believes. 'We all need the courage to dream, to share the responsibility of not only one, but many possible futures.'
Graham Stevens (b.1944, UK)
A pioneer of ‘air-art’ in the 1960s, Graham Stevens is an artist, scientist, lawyer and proponent of alternative architecture. Early experiments with inflatable structures while he was still a student resulted in his invention of the Waterbed and the Bouncy Castle. He went on to design interactive pneumatic artworks, which caused participants to react with involuntary body movements. Stevens’s numerous scientific and utopian projects include Atmosfields (1971), an experimental film revealing the aesthetic of air and its continuous transformations, and Desert Cloud (1972), an inflatable structure designed to create rain by capturing large expanses of moist air, providing enough water to enable greenhouses to flourish in the desert.
Tomás Saraceno leads a two-day workshop imagining possible solutions to forming habitats in extreme locations – and in particular deep space.
Drawing on the ideas of visionary architect Buckminster Fuller who said that as inhabitants of Spaceship Earth ‘we are all Astronauts’, Saraceno and his team of experts invite people to join him to envisage living in outer space and what structures that would entail.
Joining the artist will be scientist Dr. Alex Salam, artist and architect Graham Stevens and curator Rob La Frenais.
Dr. Alex Salam was the Human Spaceflight biomedical research MD for the European Space Agency and the French Polar Institute (IPEV). In this role he has overwintered at Concordia Station on the high Antarctic plateau between 2008 and 2010 researching the effects of extreme isolation and confinement and stress on the human immune system, behavioural health and sleep. He is a consultant to NASA on psychological issues relating to the design of deep space habitats as well as on human adaptation during long duration space missions. Rob La Frenais is curator for The Arts Catalyst, with whom Saraceno has been developing a longer term project, also titled ‘Deep Space’ investigating habitation in deep space.
Price: £20 (2 days)
Concessions: 50% off (limited availability)
Venue: Hayward Gallery Classroom 3
Approximate duration per day: 3 hours
This is a two day course. Ticket valid for 2pm Sat 16 and 2pm Sun 17 June.