AEROCENE by Tomas Saraceno

Aerocene is an open-source, multi-disciplinary project that foregrounds the artistic and scientific exploration of environmental issues. In the wake of the Anthropocene, the project promotes common links between social, mental, and environmental ecologies. Inflated only by air, lifted only by the sun, carried only by the wind, towards a clean and sustainable future. It is a collective endeavour that is being currently developed by a team, united under a non-profit organisation. Aerocene manifests as a series of air-fuelled sculptures that will achieve the longest, emission-free journey around the world: becoming buoyant only by the heat of the Sun and infrared radiation from the surface of Earth. The sculptures float without burning fossil fuels, without using solar panels and batteries; and without helium, hydrogen or other rare gases. The Aerocene D-O AEC air-filled sculpture successfully carried passengers without any use of propane for nearly three hours in a collaborative experiment in November 2015 in White Sands, New Mexico, achieving the first and longest purely solar-powered, certified, lighter-than-air tethered flight. Aerocene is a fully open project, relying on worldwide social action and interaction, and aiming at mobilizing groups of individuals for multiple concrete solutions for our common environment. Aerocene is related to Cloud Cities, a project focusing around the idea of cities in the sky, a speculative project by Tomás Saraceno.


Goals: Aerocene is an open participatory platform of knowledge production and distribution. The Aerocene action and project enlivens the discussion on 2-degree climate thresholds; it materialises debates on climatic shifts in social, collaborative practices.


Beneficial Outcomes: The sculpture sets the road for the most sustainable and energy efficient vehicle humans have ever created.