Each year the Festival de La Harpe highlights an artistic initiative that testifies to a strong commitment or a movement of contemporary revolution. This year, a solar sculpture flight organized by the Aerocene Foundation will invite us to create a space of collective and community consciousness on our interaction with the natural element.


A sculpture driven by solar energy and the wind will fly above the vineyards of the canton of Vaud on Saturday, September 11 at 9:30 am.  The community of spectators will meet to participate in the launch, admire the flight and discuss this initiative in a moment of conviviality. The exact location of the launch will be communicated before August 15th.



Aerocene is a stateless state, both attached and free-floating; a name for change and an era for living and breathing. Aerocene is a space freed from borders and fossil fuels, a common imagination for an ethical re-alliance with the environment, the planet and the cosmic web of life beyond anthropocentrism. Understanding that the future is always multiple, Aérocene is an invitation to discover and adopt different lifestyles vis-à-vis an atmosphere sensitive to ecology and mutual interactions between living beings.  

Initiated by artist Tomás Saraceno in 2015, the Aerocene Foundation is a non-profit organization dedicated to community building, scientific research, artistic experience and education. Its activities are manifested, among other things, by the experimentation and dissemination of solar sculptures that float without any need for fuel or rare gases. The Foundation works with artists, thinkers, scientists, researchers, aeronauts, technologists, aid workers and visionaries to raise awareness of the flow of global resources and reactivate a common imaginary towards new symbiotic relationships with the Earth.

Aerocene is on, with and for the air.

Aerocene is an interdisciplinary artistic community that seeks to devise new modes of sensitivity, reactivating a common imaginary towards an ethical collaboration with the environment and the atmosphere, free from carbon emissions.

Aerocene, 2017 Flight in San Francisco with Marco Mafia, Joseph Becker, Camilla Berggren, Lisa Lurati, Sven Steudte, Anna Thor and Daniel Schulz


0. Towards an epoch, free from borders, free from fossil fuels.

While fossil fuel based industries continue their attempts to colonise other planets, the air, this common interface of terrestrial life, continues to be compromised: carbon emissions fill the air, particulate matter floats inside our lungs while electromagnetic radiation envelops the earth, dictating the

tempo of surveillance capitalism. This control held by the few enacts the suffering of the multi-species many in the current era of ecological crisis. A different epoch is needed, one which radically upturns fossil narratives of materiality, and re-examines the inscribed notions of property and properties,

human and inhuman, of production and subjection. How would breathing feel in a post fossil fuel era? How can we challenge the dominance of dispossessing geopolitical forces, and overcome the extractive approach to Earth and the wealth of life it provides for? Together, we call for this new epoch, which has

been named Aerocene.

Aerocene is a proposal—a scene in, on, for, and with the air towards a reciprocal alliance with the elements capable of restoring the air to a commonwealth of life.

Aerocene imagines space as a commons, a physical and imaginative place subtracted from corporate control and government surveillance. 


Aerocene promotes de-securitized, free access to the atmosphere, through new tools and relational practices emerging from communities attempting to move the Earth's masses towards a post fossil fuel era.

The launch pad towards this new epoch is an aerosolar balloon, a Do It Together(DIT) entrance to the aerial, whose only non-engine is the wealth of energy gifted by the Sun. Once inflated with air and heated by the Sun, it elevates into the air, becoming a flying sculpture that rises without the use of fossil fuels, helium, hydrogen, solar panels, batteries or burners. In floating without carbon emissions, these aerosolar journeys speculate on the kinds of nomadic socio-political structures that may emerge if we could navigate the rivers of the atmosphere. This is to become airnomads, realizing, as wished by Rosi Braidotti, the “non fixity of boundaries and [to] develop a desire to go on trespassing”. This is to move from Homo economicus to Homo Flotantis: attuned to planetary rhythms, conscious of living with other humans and

non-humans, and who floats with the ocean of air, uprooting dominant geo-centric logics towards embodying an ever more entangled relationship with the atmosphere and the cosmos.

In bearing the consequences of the fossil-capital regime’s material practice of extraction, the atmosphere has become a highly stressed zone of the commonly composed terrestrial world. Aerodynamics, in constant movement and transformation, inherently entails complex spatial, temporal, socio-political and ecological processes, and today embodies the unequal relations of power projected upwards from the land. Hegemonic modes of re-/production in the midst of the Capitalocene, along with human mobility and organisation within the web of life, has enacted the breach of atmospheric pollution thresholds, with CO2 emissions now exceeding more than 400 ppm (Particulates Per Million). This

corruption of the air is the trigger for state shifts in Earth’s systems, the critical changes already under way, with planetary temperatures increasing and multifold inequalities proliferating in an age of resurgent nationalism and geopolitical instability.

What are the rites of passage, the corridors we need to open, in order to restore the right to drift and breathe? How can we overcome the paradox of decisions made by the few, simultaneously forcing and inhibiting the mobility and breathability of the multi-species many? Aerocene calls for an interplanetary ecology of practice which could reconnect with elemental sources of energy and the strata borne from the Sun and other planets, rising upwards towards an era of renewed symbiotic relations and sensitivities within life’s entanglements. We suggest a model for a landscape that balances and harnesses our relationship with the unlimited potential of the Sun. This realization requires a thermodynamic leap of imagination, just like during an eclipse, when only in the absence of light do we become aware of our scale in the shadow of the cosmos.

Researchers in industrial and social ecology refer to ‘socio-metabolic regimes' to define the epochal shifts in energetic relationships between humans and their environment, establishing a strict correlation between it and specific sets of social values. They argue that two of the main kinds of these regimes have been solar based, the ones of hunter-gatherer societies and those of

agrarian. Despite the existence of societies that still embody such relationships with the sun—together with all the other species and life forms—they, and the conditions for today’s civilisational infrastructures, are threatened by the domination of the current socio-metabolic regime, the one based on fossil fuels, powering the Capitalocene.

This raises the urgency to rethink modes of being, and co-existence with the planet, and all species we share it with. What could be the fourth socio-metabolic regime? What are our varying response-abilities within the current crises of our social, mental and environmental ecologies under capitalism? What would be the new set of values necessary to drift us from the shadow sun of fossil capital, returning our socio-politically captured senses

to that of the Earth, rather than the imaginaries of the global and national?

It may be through a rearticulation of our relationship with the Sun, air and cosmos that we open the boundaries of the Earth, to inhabit space with renewed interplanetary sensitivity, for this world and all others—free from borders, free from fossil fuels. Aeronauts, unite!

Co-composers to date.

Viola Castellano, Tomás Saraceno, Rebecca Lamarche-Vadel, Claire

Contamine, and Connie Chester, inspired and informed by long-term

dialogue and exchange with the ever growing Aerocene Community ;

developed further by Alice Lamperti and Roxanne Mackie, and many more

to come...


ON AIR, carte blanche to Tomás Saraceno, Palais de Tokyo, 2018.

Curated by Rebecca Lamarche-Vadel.

Read more about the dedicated and diverse community members composing Aerocene, from artists, geographers, philosophers, thinkers, speculative scientists, balloonists, technologists, and general makers and dreamers from around the planet.

Want to join the Aerocene community? Find Aerocene on