Sasha Engelmann, Sensing Art in the Atmosphere: Elemental Lures and Aerosolar Practices – Routledge, September 2020
This book engages artistic interventions in the aerial elements to investigate the aesthetics and politics of atmosphere.
Sensing Art in the Atmosphere: Elemental Lures and Aerosolar Practices traces the potential of artistic, community-driven experiments to amplify our sensing of atmosphere, marrying attentions to atmospheric affect with visceral awareness of the materials, institutions and processes hovering in the air. Drawing on six years of practice-led research with artistic and activist initiatives Museo Aero Solar and Aerocene, initiated by artist Tomás Saraceno, each chapter develops creative relations to atmosphere from the studio to stratospheric currents. Through narrative-led writing, the voices of artists and collaborators are situated and central. In dialogue with these aerographic stories and sites, the book develops a notion of elemental lures: the sensual and imaginative propositions of aerial, atmospheric and meteorological phenomena. The promise of elemental lures, Engelmann suggests, is to reconcile our sensing of atmosphere with the myriad social, cultural and political forces suspended in it. Through tales of floating journeys, shared envelopes of breath and surreal levitations, the book foregrounds the role of art in crafting alternative modes of perceiving, moving and imagining (in) the air.
The book ends with a call for elemental experiments in the geohumanities. It makes an important and original contribution to elemental geographies, the geohumanities and interdisciplinary scholarship on air and atmosphere.