Tomás Saraceno: The art and science of cosmopolitics

DIPC Seminars

Joanna Page, University of Cambridge
Donostia International Physics Center
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Tomás Saraceno: The art and science of cosmopolitics The work of Tomás Saraceno (b. 1973, Argentina), located at the intersections of art, architecture, engineering and the natural sciences, calls attention to human impact on the universe in the “Anthropocene” era, but also points to the possibility of a new era of co-habitation and co-creation. Saraceno’s designs and installations draw on forms from the natural world such as webs and bubbles, inspired in part by Peter Sloterdijk’s work on foams as co- fragile pluralities of space. I will explore how Saraceno’s collaborations with arachnologists, astrophysicists and material scientists open up new ways of thinking about questions of community and commonality: what we might call “life in common.” Bruno Latour contends that “A common world, if there is going to be one, is something we will have to build, tooth and nail, together.” Saraceno’s vision responds to Isabelle Stengers’ call for a cosmopolitics that explores the conditions of possibility in which multiple, divergent worlds might be articulated together, and her plea for a “slow science.” If many recent collaborations between art and science have been criticized for reducing art to the role of communicating scientific ideas to the general public in a simpler or more engaging manner, Saraceno’s work demonstrates the vital part art can play in “slowing down” science in this way, resituating it within what Stengers calls an “ecology of practices,” by fostering dialogues with other ontologies and forms of knowledge, in a project that at once epistemological, political and ethical. Host: Gustavo Ariel Schwartz