In 2012, his exhibition On the Roof: Cloud City at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York featured a large-scale sculpture made of modular compartments that visitors could climb inside. Installation In Orbit, a webbed structure containing five air-filled spheres suspended 25 meters (80 feet) above the ground is on long-term display at K21 in Dusseldorf, Germany, and people can also climb all over it, just like spiders.

Saraceno describes himself as an artist who “lives and works in and beyond the planet Earth” and apparently it’s not a joke. In addition to Cloud Cities he has created famous floating sculptures in his Aerocene series, first publicly displayed during the UN climate talks in Paris 2015 that resulted in a landmark agreement. These sculptures are propelled by sunlight—they float as the sun heats up the air that fills the sculptures—making them prototypes for how humans can travel in the future, without burning fossil fuels or consuming any other form of energy that pollutes the earth. One of these floating sculptures is also part of the show in South Korea.

“If it’s big enough it can lift a person—and even a city—up above the clouds. The sun can help us reverse gravity,” he said while launching the floating sculpture at the outdoor theater of the Asia Culture Center.

Saraceno hopes that his art can inspire a feeling of inter-connectedness that helps people accept the links between humans and everything else in the universe, including climate change. “I’m surprised to see people deny climate change, like some people in America. There’s an urgency to communicate and rebuild [the trust]. Politics isn’t dealing with the urgency of climate change,” he says.

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