Tomás Saraceno

Portrait

Born in 1973 in San Miguel de Tucumán (Argentina), lives and works in Berlin (Germany)

«Henceforth, space by itself, and time by itself, are doomed to fade away into mere shadows, and only a kind of union of the two will preserve an independent reality." This was how, in 1908, Hermann Minkowski began his address to the 80th Assembly of German Natural Scientists and Physician. For Minkowski, neither space alone (volume) nor time alone (duration) was sufficient to define reality and objects. He therefore called for a unity between the three spatial dimensions and the fourth dimension, time, by simply naming this union: "the World". The famous diagram in the form of luminous cones (Minkowski diagram) explains from a graphic point of view the reality in which space and time collapse. Hyperweb of the Present by Tomás Saraceno is an artistic appropriation of the hypersurface of the present - one of the elements of the above-mentioned diagram. As in Minkowski’s theoretical drawing, two luminous cones point to a point described as an event. A ray of light illuminates a frame inside which a hybrid spider’s web is suspended, with a living spider on the web, vibrating it; the artist calls the spider "an endemic observer". A second light beam projects a fragment of another Saraceno work, 163,000 light-years, which shows the image of The Large Magellanic Cloud, a galaxy visible in the southern celestial hemisphere (it takes 163,000 years for light emitted by this galaxy to reach the surface of the Earth). This image projects a pale blue light onto the cobweb. The vibrations of the live spider, selected from local species, are recorded by an assortment of microphones and amplified to create the soundtrack of the installation.

Hyperweb of the Present is a space that symbolizes an event in the ‘here and now’. Minkowski wrote that both the present moment and reality constitute a point in the Universe where two light cones meet, the past light cone and the future light cone. The imaginary magnifying retina of an endemic observer contemplates this point, i.e. the World, and there discovers the miniature universe of a spider's web. The vibration that resonates in the room where the installation is presented is a memory of sounds recorded by a space probe near the rings of Saturn. The light cones of the past and the future meet at the point where the observer rests their gaze; a hyperweb of the tangles of the present floats like a hanging spider’s web…

 

 

©Naoko Maeda

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