People often ask us, whether in person, or on social media, ‘what can I do with my plastic bags?’.
Well, your council won’t take them, you definitely shouldn’t burn them, and it seems all you can do is destine them for the landfill. Some artists have found use for recycled plastic bags, some gardeners have found use for them too, but now we have an entirely new answer for what you can do with your carrier bags.
Build a Hot-Air Balloon.
That’s exactly what Argentine artist Tomás Saraceno has done, with his new project ‘Becoming Aerosolar’. This giant recycled plastic artwork is currently on display at the 21er Haus art museum in Vienna, Austria. The installation ends on August 30th, so if you’re in the area before then, it’s worth checking out. The exhibition features further installations that are symbolic of how we perceive and experience the environment. However, Saraceno’s piece is taking recycled plastic art to new heights! (Excuse the pun)
Saraceno’s art often looks at sustainable models for future habitats, such as his ‘Cloud Cities’ piece that featured steel pods in the air that could experience life off the ground. 'Becoming Aerosolar' also involves being off the ground, as his recycled plastic hot air balloon is somewhat functional, and solar powered! When heated by the sun, the plastic bags float upwards and harness it’s energy. It is only a concept though, and is not being used to travel him from installation to installation, sadly.
Regardless of functionality, it’s a great message for resourceful behaviour and certainly highlights how we treat our planet.
21er Haus had this to say about Tomás: ‘Tomás Saraceno was born in 1973 in Tucuman, Argentina, and studied architecture and later Arts in Buenos Aires and Frankfurt. He lives and works in Berlin, where he heads a multidisciplinary studio. Furthermore, he has held numerous research and teaching positions, amongst others at NASA, the European Space Agency ESA, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and at the TU Braunschweig. His works have been shown in more than fifty solo and more than a hundred group exhibitions, most recently including in the Metropolitan Museum in New York, at the Hamburger Bahnhof in Berlin, the K21 in Dusseldorf and at the biennials of Venice, São Paulo, Lyon and Moscow.’