Tomás Saraceno / Argentina b.1973 / Biosphere 2009 / PVC, rope, nylon monofilament, acrylic, air pressure regulator system / Purchased 2014 with funds from Tim Fairfax, AC, through the Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art Foundation / © Tomás Saraceno

Tomás Saraceno
Biosphere 2008

On Display: GOMA, Gallery 1.1

Each of Tomás Saraceno’s Biosphere works demonstrate the artist’s signature technique of intertwining rope, in this case weaving it around transparent, inflated bubbles. Their architecture is similar to that of geodesic domes. In parallel with ideas of interconnected floating cities is the artist’s ongoing interest in the structure of spider webs and their flexibility in a changing environment. Biosphere resembles a spider’s web – each threaded and knotted piece of rope within it is equally important to the structural integrity of the whole form, acting as a metaphor for the interconnectedness of ecosystems.

Saraceno is influenced by ideas of networking and ecology, and by philosophers and social theorists who look to the systems in nature in order to provide new approaches to thinking about the world.

Tomás Saraceno is renowned for his ambitious sculptures and installations that take the form of webs and interconnected spheres or bubbles. His work is influenced by ideas of networking and ecology, looking to the systems and forms found in nature as its basis.

The artist has an ongoing interest in the structure of spiders’ webs and their adaptability to the changing environment. The complex structures mirrored in these works are salient symbols for the interconnectedness of ecosystems.

Discussion

1. How do the lines and movement in Saraceno’s sculptures predict future trends for living?

2. Analyse Saraceno’s sculptural style in terms of the art elements and principles of mass, line, space and texture. Examine how the artist uses light and movement to create mood.

3. Assess how successful Saraceno is in conveying his meaning through his choice of media and technique.

Activities

1. Think about the natural elements in a Queensland environment (e.g. tropical rainforest, beach or reef). List as many spherical items you can think of. Drawing upon their textures, patterns and colours, create an artwork that visually represents the natural elements of this environment. Can your classmates guess which environment is represented?

2. How does Saraceno’s installation achieve a sense of balance? Write a short essay to outline what the symbolic and technical use of balance implies about future ways of living.