Web of Life (2020 – ongoing) | for a real Augmented Reality
Webs of Life, a project by Tomás Saraceno with Arachnophilia for Acute Art, is an experiment in biodiversity and technodiversity*, towards a real Augmented Reality. Subverting the digital to reconnect with the physical, it invites participants to move from arachnophobia to Arachnophilia, against the Sixth Mass Extinction, and become enmeshed in extended sensitivities of co-existence.
Bagheera kiplingi**, the world’s only vegetarian spider, is a personal Augmented Reality (AR) artwork. Participants can gain access to this AR spider by submitting a picture of a real spider or web through the Acute Art app, encouraging more awareness of where spiders/webs live and weave; inside buildings, behind doors, on windows, under leaves. The collection of Spider/Web images can be seen on Saraceno’s Arachnomancy App.
In addition, giant Augmented Reality (AR) versions of the spiders, Bagheera kiplingi and Maratus speciosus, also called the peacock spider because of its coloured opisthosomal plate, can be seen this summer through the Acute Art app as part of Back to Earth at Serpentine in London.
To view Bagheera kiplingi* where you are:
Locate a spider or a web in your home or garden, on the street, in a park – be careful not to disturb it!
Download the Acute Art App, or find it on the App Store or Google Play
Select Tomás Saraceno
Choose Bagheera kiplingi*
Take a picture of the Spider/Web you’ve found.
Receive and place Tomás Saraceno’s AR artwork Bagheera kiplingi*.
See yours and other Spider/Web images on the Arachnomancy App.
To find out more about Bagheera kiplingi* and Saraceno’s campaign to change its name, please visit Arachnophilia.net
Webs of Life, a project by Tomás Saraceno with Arachnophilia, is part of Back to Earth at Serpentine from June 19 to October 17, 2021.
Proceeds from this these AR artworks go to the Fundación Ambiente y Recursos Naturales (FARN),a non-profit that connects with communities in northern Argentina working to maintain biodiversity in the region.
Special thanks to the Arachnophilia community, especially Arachnophilics, Ally Bisshop, spider divination practitioners Bagheera kiplingi, Roland Muehlethaler, Maratus speciosus, as well as key scientific and research institutions, including Peter Jaeger of Senckenberg Research Institute, Markus J Buehler, Evan Ziporyn, and Leila Kinney of MIT, Alex Jordan of Max Planck Institute, Jonas Wolff of Macquarie University, Andreas Wessell and Hannelore Hoch of Museum für Naturkunde and many more. To project supporters at Serpentine and Acute Art, in particular Rebecca Lewin, Hans Ulrich Obrist, Daniel Birnbaum, Jacob De Geer, Rodrigo Marques, Irene Due, and Isabela Herig. And to Studio Tomás Saraceno, especially Lars Behrendt, Sarah Kisner, Manuela Mazure, Claudia Meléndez, Jillian Meyer, Lucía Cash, and Lucas Mateluna.
* Term by Yuk Hui
**Named after Rudyard Kipling, Bagheera kiplingi’s* name represents for many the Victorian imperialism Kipling supported. Tomás Saraceno with members of the Arachnophilia community is attempting to rename this and other spider species whose names carry controversial, post-colonial references. Find out more on renaming this spider and other species at Arachnophilia.net.
About Tomás Saraceno
Tomás Saraceno’s floating sculptures, artworks and interactive installations challenge ways of inhabiting and sensing the environment. Collectively calling for environmental justices that enable interspecies cohabitation, Saraceno’s artistic collaborations open renewed relationships with the terrestrial, atmospheric, and cosmic realms -particularly through his community projects Aerocene and Arachnophilia.
Arachnophilia is an interdisciplinary, research-driven initiative that emerged from Saraceno’s more than 10 years collaboration with humans, spiders and their webs. The Arachnophilia community refines concepts and ideas related to spiders and webs across multiple artistic, scientific and theoretical disciplines, including vibrational communication, biomateriomics, architecture and engineering, animal ethology, nonhuman philosophy, anthropology, biodiversity/conservation, sound studies and music. Since 2019 Arachnophilia has proposed new, speculative and technological pathways for cultivating affective relations between spiders and humans -harnessing digital tools to cultivate multispecies kinship in the technosphere and the biosphere.
Move from arachnophobia to arachnophilia at Arachonophilia.net
Let your future be read by a Spider/Web with the Arachnomancy App.
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