Magazine article Artforum International

"Sehnsuchtig Gleiten Ballone Rund Um Die Welt": Green Light Pavilion

Magazine article Artforum International

"Sehnsuchtig Gleiten Ballone Rund Um Die Welt": Green Light Pavilion

Article excerpt

Blame it on Google Earth: The view from above is becoming a dominant perspective in aesthetics. As linear perspective spread with the Renaissance, the satellite view rose with our Global Village; this godlike yet profane vision, ushered in with the televised space launches of the '60s, has intensified alongside globalization. Some artists are attempting to take political questions to the open skies in a way reminiscent of the generation that found its problems and answers in the media landscape. We may soon look at all issues--environmental protection, urban planning, poverty, and even race--with the eye of the weatherman.

"Sehnsuchtig gleiten Ballone rund um die Welt" (Longing Balloons Are Floating Around the World) exemplifies the satellite Weltanschauung. This group exhibition in progress, which began last September and will end in June 2006, evolves like the seasons; every two to three months, one artist creates a large installation, to which other artists respond with smaller interconnected works. The temporary exhibition space--Riccardo Previdi's Green Light Pavilion, 2005--is located on a vacant lot destined for condos. Previdi's design hints at this fate: He fenced in two white office trailers of the kind often erected at construction sites and a mini-courtyard with vertical wooden planks, which are lit at the base with green spotlights when an event is taking place. The green lights--while giving a dead urban space the go-ahead for a collective aesthetic existence--conflate traffic lights for cars and runway lighting for planes. Lit from below, Green Light Pavilion is an urban intervention visible from above, like a landing strip.

The first artist to land was Tomas Saraceno, the brains behind Air Port City, 2002-, an impressive yet politically naive plan to demilitarize and decommercialize the troposphere by building cities like floating clouds. …

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