September 21, 2017

Matter/Structure/Architecture: round table discussion with Tomás Saraceno

University of Chicago Arts

View of Tomás Saraceno, Our Interplanetary Bodies, Asia Culture Centre 2017. Courtesy the artist, Tanya Bonakdar Gallery, Andersen's Contemporary, Pinksummer contemporary art, and Esther Schipper.

The Arts, Science + Culture Initiative at the University of Chicago presents a round table discussion with UChicago professors Angela Olinto, the Albert A. Michelson Distinguished Service Professor, Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics, Chair; Enrico Fermi Institute; and the College; Daniel Holz, Associate Professor, Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics, Physics; Enrico Fermi Institute; and Heinrich Jaeger, William J. Friedman and Alicia Townsend Professor of Physics; James Franck Institute; Fellow, Institute for Molecular Engineering. Moderated by Zachary Cahill, Curator for the Gray Center for Arts and Inquiry. This is in partnership with the Gray Center for Arts and Inquiry and the Goethe Institut-Chicago.

Berlin-based Argentinian artist Tomás Saraceno will be in residence at the University of Chicago to meet with scientists from the Department of Astrophysics & Astronomy, the Kavli Institute for Cosmological Physics, the Enrico Fermi Institute, and the Center for Soft Matter. Saraceno’s recent research and new experiments are inspired by the cosmological dimension, both by sub-atomic environments as well as celestial bodies. He will be interacting with astrophysicists, cosmologists, and soft matter physicists to investigate their research and inquiry methods, with a particular focus on cosmic dust. As a result of this residency, all participants will gain a greater understanding of experimenting with structural forms and the physical properties embedded in the natural world, along with first-hand insight into Saraceno’s visionary translation of these concepts into sculptural form.

In a related event on Thursday, October 5 at 6pm, Saraceno will be joined in convesation by Yasmil Raymond, Associate Curator at the Museum of Modern Art. The conversation will be held at the Chicago Cultural Center, Randolph Square, 78 E. Washington, Chicago. This event is presented by Arts, Science + Culture Initiative and the Gray Center for Arts and Inquiry at the University of Chicago, the Chicago Architecture Biennial, and the Goethe Institut.

Tomás Saraceno's oeuvre can be seen as an ongoing research, informed by the worlds of art, architecture, natural sciences, astrophysics and engineering; his floating sculptures, community projects and interactive installations propose and explore new, sustainable ways of inhabiting and sensing the environment. In 2015, Saraceno achieved the world record for the first and longest certified fully-solar manned flight. During the past decade, he has initiated collaborations with renowned scientific institutions, including the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Max Planck Institute, the Nanyang Technological University of Singapore, and the Natural History Museum London. He is the first person to scan, reconstruct and reimagine spiders’ weaved spatial habitats, and possesses the only three-dimensional spider web collection to existence. Saraceno lectures in institutions worldwide, and his work has been widely exhibited internationally in solo and group exhibitions. Saraceno lives and works in and beyond the planet Earth.

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