Since 1992, the Audemars Piguet Foundation has dedicated itself to the cause of worldwide forest conservation and environmental protection by raising awareness. Meanwhile, Berlin-based artist Tomás Saraceno founded Aerocene, an open-source, interdisciplinary artistic and scientific community project to remind us “that the air belongs to everyone and should not depend on any type of sovereignty,” and “that it should be free from borders and fossil fuels, for our world to move towards a clean and sustainable future.” Because of their shared social and environmental objectives, the two entities, have collaborated to present Albedo, a new sustainable, site-specific artwork imagined by Saraceno. It will be unveiled at Art Basel in Miami Beach on the oceanfront sand lot across from Collins Park, between December 5 and 9, 2018.
“Our mutual interest in preserving our planet for future generations makes our collaboration in Miami Beach all the more meaningful.” – Artist Tomás Saraceno, Founder of Aerocene
Albedo is a large-scale temporal pavilion comprised of approximately 40 reflective, out-turned umbrellas. Together, the parabolic structures create a large hemispherical sundial on the Miami Beach oceanfront. Seen from above, these experimental structures form an impressive geometric constellation, transforming the usual shielding purpose of umbrellas into a community act to protect the thermodynamic balance of the Earth. The solar energy harnessed is used to lift Aerocene’s aero-solar sculpture, the Aerocene Explorer, into the air. These floating sculptures imagine a new aerial infrastructure that demonstrates the possibilities of an ethical, fossil-fuel-free movement in the atmosphere while challenging and redefining a global right to mobility.
Albedo is separate from Audemars Piguet’s Art Commissions, the most recent edition of which was presented earlier this year at Art Basel in Switzerland. However, they share a strong kinship with the commissioned projects in raising ecological awareness. Some of them are also on display at Art Basel Miami Beach, including the 2017 Slow-Moving Luminaries by Lars Jan, and Theo Jansen’s 2014 Strandbeests, an artistic project in collaboration with the Peabody Essex Museum.
Similar to Albedo, these installations investigated fundamental questions about our shared social and ecological future in the form of interactive, experiential, participatory installations marked by a high degree of technological complexity and precision. The Miami Beach oceanfront is, therefore, an inspirational venue to share Albedo with an international public to probe issues of “urgent historic and cosmic relevance and move towards a new epoch of post-extractivism.“