Berlin bubble artshow is first step to flying city

Fri Oct 14, 2011 11:58am EDT
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By Sarah Marsh

BERLIN (Reuters) - Shimmering giant bubbles carpeted with exotic plants are suspended within the vaulted hallway of a former Berlin railway station, in a new exhibition of the artworks of Tomas Saraceno.

Visitors can enter the soap-like bubbles and experience a sense of floating in a futuristic galaxy at Berlin's contemporary art museum and former station, Hamburger Bahnhof.

The "Cloud Cities" exhibition, which runs until January 15, aims to offer a utopian vision of architecture and to stimulate contemplation on space and the earth's fragile ecology.

Saraceno, 38, says he wants to bring people who can no longer see the stars due to light pollution to a better awareness of the way the earth is floating in a galaxy.

"We are flying at the very moment, the question is: are you aware of it?" said Saraceno, who is something of a renaissance man bridging science and art in his works.

"These bubbles are biospheres, like the earth which is flying around the sun at a very high speed."

The Argentine artist, who prefers to describe himself as a "citizen of planet earth," studied architecture and art in Buenos Aires and Frankfurt, as well as completing a NASA space program in Silicon Valley.

Ultimately he aims to create a flying city of his biosphere-bubbles, which he says would lift skywards as the sun heated up the interior and the air pressure changed within. He uses plants with no roots, as earth would weigh the bubbles down.   Continued...

<p>People walk between installations that are part of Tomas Saraceno's Cloud Cities exhibition at Hamburger Bahnhof in Berlin, September 14, 2011. REUTERS/Thomas Peter</p>