ON AIR : Carte Blanche to Tomás Saraceno

curated by Rebecca Lamarche-Vadel

Palais de Tokyo, Paris

Oct 17 – Jan 6, 2018

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ON AIR is thought as an ecosystem in becoming, hosting a renewed choreography and polyphony between human and non-human universes, with artworks revealing common, fragile and ephemeral rhythms and trajectories between these worlds. As a hybrid organism, ON AIR builds itself with the myriad presences, visible and invisible, that meet and cohabit within it.

Some voices are reduced into quietude, whilst others, usually less heard, are magnified. The exhibition performs a not-yet- audible hymn of the illegible ties between beings, the unspeakable togetherness of earthly and cosmic phenomena, a reality which is impossible to describe, but can maybe be felt. The works gathered reveal what resists our sight.

This to build a space and a time in which our knowledge extends beyond what is visible, making tangible physically and virtually, the strength of the presences floating in the air and the way they affect us: from particulate matter to cosmic dust, from radio frequencies to sonic pollution.

Thus, the invisible histories that tie us appear, those inviting us to rethink poetically the way we inhabit the world – and to reevaluate our way of being human. Supporting and promoting an interconnected culture, the show celebrates new modes of knowledge production and opens up to the debate and global challenges posed by the Anthropocene, a word proposed to define the current epoch we live in on Planet Earth, in which some human activities leave an impact so important that they modify the geological layers of our planet and its evolution.

It is especially through the activities of Aerocene, an interdisciplinary artistic project initiated by Tomás Saraceno, that seeks to reactivate a common imaginary to collaborate ethically with the atmosphere and the environment, that the visitors are invited to engage collectively in this exercise of planetary attunement. The carte blanche echoes Tomás Saraceno’s artistic practice as it reunites a great variety of collaborators and collaborations, bringing together scientific institutions, research groups, activists, local communities, musicians, philosophers, animals, celestial phenomena and visitors, who equally take part in the evolution of the exhibition as well. Workshops, jamming sessions with spiders, public symposiums regularly enrich the carte blanche and constantly transform Palais de Tokyo, metamorphosed for a few weeks in a vast “cosmic jam session”.


Courtesy of  the artist; Andersen’s, Copenhagen; Esther Schipper, Berlin; Pinksummer Contemporary Art, Genoa; Ruth Benzacar, Buenos Aires; Tanya Bonakdar Gallery, New York.
Photos by ©Photography Studio Tomás Saraceno, 2018.


When I was a weird little kid in suburbia obsessed with horror of all kinds, my grandfather (who isn’t alive anymore) built me a haunted house. I could pretend I was a ghost or a bat or a werewolf crying blood over a cardboard tombstone. Sadie Coles HQ, London
Swag Station, Italy
Istituto Svizzero, Milan
NoguerasBlanchard, Barcelona 
C L E A R I N G, Brussels
der TANK, Basel
Interstate Projects, New York 
Perrotin, Hong Kong