Free the Air: part of Tomás Saraceno’s Particular Matter(s), New York (2022)


Project Data

Artist: Tomás Saraceno
Client : 3DTex
Location: The Shed, NY
Structure: multi-sensory installation consisting of two walkable steel webs, steel structure and a pneumatic large balloon
Material: steel, stainless steel X-Tend mesh, steel cables, aluminum, Helium tight coated membrane
Covered area: 700 sqm
Balloon volume: 14.130 qm
Fotos: © Tomás Saraceno, 3DTex, z3rch

Concept design: Conceptual design for a 95-foot-diameter sculpture housing a concert of spider/webs in four movements.
Form finding: Balloon + Walkable X-Tend Mesh
Static design: Steel + Membrane + X-Tend Mesh from Carl Stahl + Steel cables + Aluminum extrusion
Execution planning: Steel + PU-coated membrane + X-Tend Mesh from Carl Stahl + steel cables + aluminum extrusion
Workshop planning: Membrane patterning
On site: Supervision and consulting on site


Tomás Saraceno: Particular Matter(s) at The Shed is centered around a larger-than-life multi-sensory installation consisting of two webs, each ninety-five feet in diameter. One is suspended forty feet in the air and overlooks a lower web twelve feet above the ground. The experience of this spider universe includes a ten-minute concert in four movements based on the sights, sounds, and vibrations of a spider and its web. Participants step into a cavernous, white space that is foggy and dimly lit. One walks across the giant and slightly terrifying nets either peering up at those above or looking down at others clumsily finding a place to lay down and settle in for the concert. The number of bodies permitted at one time on each level is carefully controlled to ensure the safety of visitors while also allowing for plenty of room to spread out. (text by: daily art magazine)

The new cultural center in New York, The Shed, will receive in winter 2022 artist Tomas Saraceno with his first solo exhibition in New York, Particular Matter(s). Together with the Studio Saraceno, 3dtex and Balloon Bau Wörner we have a developed a 29 m diameter sculpture that will be put inside the Mc Court.

The exhibition, Free the Air is a large-scale sensory experience in which visitors perceive a concert of vibrations derived from the movement of particles through the air and how spiders relay information through vibratory mechanisms. On the upper level, visitors venture onto a floating web-like floor 40 feet above the ground. In Free the Air, the body becomes an ear, perceptive to the net reverberating beneath it and to the rhythms of other species. (The Shed)

The balloon is a 29 m sphere made out of TPU material and will be inflated through a ventilator.
Inside the balloon you will find two walking nets made of stainless steel cables.
Both structures will be fixed through an outer steel structure that will be ballasted with water tanks to the ground.
The whole structure will be installed in only two weeks and will bring an amazing experience to the visitors and will bring a milestone on Studio Saraceno projects going on big dimensions.

Location: The Shed, NY