Esther Schipper is pleased to announce Algo-r(h)i(y)thms, Tomás Saraceno's third solo exhibition with the gallery. The exhibition will be on view from November 16 and continues through December 21, 2019.
Algo-r(h)i(y)thms transforms the exhibition space into a web-like landscape of nets.
In Spanish, 'algo' means 'something.' 'Rhythm' comes from the Greek rhythmos, meaning 'movement marked by the regulated succession of strong and weak elements, or of opposite or different conditions.' Though rhythm is both biological and inherent, theorised as evolutionarily instinctual, relating in human history to the speeds of the human heartbeat, gait, and emotional affect, our contemporary moment operates at a tempo artificially imposed rather than intuitively felt. Algo-r(h)i(y)thms then presents an urgent invitation to attune to our sym(bio)poetic futures, the radical reciprocity of all things, both living and nonliving, through a vibrational language.
Essentially blind, the web-building spider creates an image of the world through the tremors it sends and receives through the web, which also functions as an organic and specialised instrument for transmitting these seismic signals. The spider/web is thus considered a material extension of the spider's own senses, and–some argue–of its mind. Accessing this Umwelt, the work actuates participants to see, touch, hear and for a moment exist within this web of linked perceptions, drawing awareness to proximal worlds.
Each of the converging nodes within Algo-r(h)i(y)thms refers to the different reverberation frequencies of micro- and macroscopic phenomena. Of the 3.4 kilometers of 1-2.5 millimetre black cord arranged in complex clusters, a 25cm diameter net, 58-178 Hz (Argiope keyserlingi Courtship / Emitted Frequency), borrows its name from the peak frequencies of courtship signals produced by an orb weaving spider. Nets with broader diameters draw upon the vibrational rates of more monumental matter, such as the 140 cm diameter net 0.61 GHz (RXCJ2003.5-2323 / Radio Halo)—a halo generated by ultrarelativistic electrons surrounding this distant galaxy cloud.
In the artist's words, 'organisms are not atomistic individuals but hybrid assemblages... each body is a 'nested ecology' linked to others in complex ways. By thinking like this, we might notice our interconnectedness with other beings, other elements; how we might cooperate across species boundaries and how we might live and thrive together on a shared planet.'
A first iteration of the work under the title Galaxies Forming along Filaments, like Droplets along the Strands of a Spider's Web was presented in 2009 during the 53rd Biennale di Venezia, Fare Mondi - Making Worlds, Venice, curated by Daniel Birnbaum. Bruno Latour described it as 'a potent attempt at shaping today's political ecology–by extending former natural forces to address the human political problem of forming livable communities.' In 2018, the work was sonified as Algo-r(h)i(y)thms, conceived for the artist's major solo exhibition, ON AIR: Carte Blanche to Tomás Saraceno, curated by Rebecca Lamarche-Vadel at the Palais de Tokyo, Paris. This third iteration is an invitation to play the web as a spider might, gently touching, sliding and stridulating within a system of amplified strings: a proposal of practices of attunement to non-human worlds in the context of the Sixth Mass Extinction.
The vibrating world of spiders can be further explored at Arachnophilia.net, a living archive of coexistences developed by Studio Tomás Saraceno and the Arachnophilia team, and through the Arachnomancy App.
Tomás Saraceno was born in 1973 in Tucuman, Argentina. His practice is elevated by the concepts linking art, life science and the social sciences. He studied architecture at Universidad Nacional de Buenos Aires in Argentina and received postgraduate degrees from Escuela Superior de Bellas Artes de la Nación Ernesto de la Cárcova, Buenos Aires and Staatliche Hochschule für Bildende Künste - Städelschule, Frankfurt. In the past decade he has collaborated with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Max Planck Institute, the Nanyang Technological University, the Imperial College London and the Natural History Museum London. With an emphasis on collaborative interaction he also became the first person to scan, reconstruct and reimagine spiders' weaved spatial habitats, and possesses the only three-dimensional spider web collection in existence. Saraceno lectures in institutions worldwide. He directed the Institute of Architecture-related Art (IAK) at Braunschweig University of Technology, Germany (2014–2016) and has held residencies at Centre National d'Études Spatiales (2014–2015), MIT Center for Art, Science & Technology (2012≥–ongoing) and Atelier Calder (2010), among others.
Tomás Saraceno's work has recently been exhibited at the 58th International Art Exhibition - La Biennale di Venezia, May You Live In Interesting Times, curated by Ralph Rugoff; ON AIR: Carte Blanche to Tomás Saraceno, Palais de Tokyo, Paris (2018), curated by Rebecca Lamarche-Vadel; A Thermodynamic Imaginary, Museum of Art, Architecture and Technology, Lisbon (2018), curated by Pedro Gadanho; How to Entangle the Universe in a Spider's Web, Museo de Arte Moderno, Buenos Aires (2017), curated by Victoria Noorthoorn; Stillness in Motion - Cloud Cities, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (2016), curated by Joseph Becker; Arachnid Orchestra. Jam Session, NTU Centre for Contemporary Art, Singapore (2015); Becoming Aerosolar, 21er Haus, Vienna (2015); Aerocene, Solutions COP21, Grand Palais, Paris (2015); Cosmic Jive. Tomás Saraceno: The Spider Sessions, Museo d'Arte Contemporanea di Villa Croce, Genova (2014); In Orbit, K21, Düsseldorf (2013–ongoing); Tomás Saraceno on the Roof: Cloud City, Roof Garden Installation, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York (2012); On Space Time Foam, Hangar Bicocca, Milan (2012); and Cloud Cities, Hamburger Bahnhof-Museum für Gegenwart, Berlin (2011). His work is included in many international collections, among them the Bauhaus Museum, Weimar; The Museum of Modern Art, New York; SFMOMA, San Francisco; Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; Nationalgalerie, and StaatlicheMuseen zu Berlin, Berlin.
Press release courtesy Esther Schipper.