CULTURE & ARTS

Artist Makes Giant Patchwork Hot Air Balloons From Recycled Bags

Up, up and away.

Argentine artist Tomás Saraceno has his head in the clouds.

For his newest project, titled "Becoming Aerosolar," Saraceno transformed thousands of recycled plastic bags into airy patchwork blobs, remodeling excess waste into an otherworldly vessel. 

Brightly colored corporate logos and generic gift bags morph into vibrant quilted strips that, when stitched together, resemble a shopping mall dumpster that got the Hayao Miyazaki treatment. When heated by the sun, the entire contraption floats upwards, hot air balloon-style, harnessing energy in an entirely new (if not entirely functional) way. The piece, on view at Vienna's "Haus 21er," summons potential and fantastical visions of a more sustainable future. 

This is far from the first time Saraceno has created artworks that pay homage to the heavens above. His earlier works include a multi-layered, netted web that turns viewers into mutant spiders, a cluster of insect-like shiny pods on the Met rooftop and a suspended clear film installation that allows visitors to defy the laws of gravity. 

  • Tomas Saraceno "Becoming Aerosolar" Exhibition view at Haus 21er, Belvedere, Vienna (AT) , 2015 Courtesy: The Artist, Esther Schipper Gallery, Berlin; Pinksummer contemporary art, Genoa; Tanya Bonakdar Gallery, New York; Andersen's Contemporary, Copenhagen. © Tomas Saraceno 2015
  • Tomas Saraceno "Becoming Aerosolar" Exhibition view at Haus 21er, Belvedere, Vienna (AT) , 2015 Courtesy: The Artist, Esther Schipper Gallery, Berlin; Pinksummer contemporary art, Genoa; Tanya Bonakdar Gallery, New York; Andersen's Contemporary, Copenhagen. © Tomas Saraceno 2015
  • Tomas Saraceno "Becoming Aerosolar" Exhibition view at Haus 21er, Belvedere, Vienna (AT) , 2015 Courtesy: The Artist, Esther Schipper Gallery, Berlin; Pinksummer contemporary art, Genoa; Tanya Bonakdar Gallery, New York; Andersen's Contemporary, Copenhagen. © Tomas Saraceno 2015
  • Tomas Saraceno "Becoming Aerosolar" Exhibition view at Haus 21er, Belvedere, Vienna (AT) , 2015 Courtesy: The Artist, Esther Schipper Gallery, Berlin; Pinksummer contemporary art, Genoa; Tanya Bonakdar Gallery, New York; Andersen's Contemporary, Copenhagen. © Tomas Saraceno 2015
  • Tomas Saraceno "Becoming Aerosolar" Exhibition view at Haus 21er, Belvedere, Vienna (AT) , 2015 Courtesy: The Artist, Esther Schipper Gallery, Berlin; Pinksummer contemporary art, Genoa; Tanya Bonakdar Gallery, New York; Andersen's Contemporary, Copenhagen. © Tomas Saraceno 2015
  • Tomas Saraceno "Becoming Aerosolar" Exhibition view at Haus 21er, Belvedere, Vienna (AT) , 2015 Courtesy: The Artist, Esther Schipper Gallery, Berlin; Pinksummer contemporary art, Genoa; Tanya Bonakdar Gallery, New York; Andersen's Contemporary, Copenhagen. © Tomas Saraceno 2015
  • Tomas Saraceno "Becoming Aerosolar" Exhibition view at Haus 21er, Belvedere, Vienna (AT) , 2015 Courtesy: The Artist, Esther Schipper Gallery, Berlin; Pinksummer contemporary art, Genoa; Tanya Bonakdar Gallery, New York; Andersen's Contemporary, Copenhagen. © Tomas Saraceno 2015

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