Audemars Piguet isn’t just here to help you tell time in a luxurious fashion. They have found their heart in art too. At Miami Art Basel this year the luxury watch maker marked the debut of their collaboration with Tomás Saraceno and the Aerocene Foundation with a press conference and cocktail party alongside the artwork on the Miami Beach oceanfront between 21st and 22nd street next to Collins Park. The opening day at Albedo was attended by guests who got a first-hand experience of the large-scale temporal pavilion, comprised of 40 reflective, out-turned umbrellas of various sizes. However, these umbrellas served no function for the rain, but, rather, they created a hemispherical sundial on the Miami Beach oceanfront to power daily solar flight performances by the Aerocene Explorer, the community’s iconic flying sculpture rising into the air using only the heat from the sun, floating without burning fossil fuels or other guests.
The public was invited throughout the week to borrow and fly an Aerocene Explorer backpack on the beach, an open source tethered-flight starter kit using the heat of the sun alone. Solar cooking of local, sustainable cuisine was also organized in partnership with the Wynwood Yards. Solar Sound Systems also spun the opening night’s soundtrack for guests and lamplights in the shape of fishing rods provided solar-powered light once dusk fell. This was the most solar friendly block party you were getting.
Throughout the week Audemars Piguet presented a series of public talks which included artist Rirkirt Tiravanija, Rebecca Lamarch-Vadel of the Palais de Tokyo, chef Antto Melasniemi, Eva Diaz of the Pratt Institute, Denis Maskimov of Avenir Institute, Elvia Wilk of The New School, and Audemars Piguet’s vice chairman of the board of directors, Olivier Audemars.
Albedo bears a strong kinship with Audemars Piguet’s artistic projects, raising ecological awareness around the world while also responding directly to the immediate surroundings of Miami Beach. As environmentalism has become an increasing focus for luxury brands as they want to show consumers they are also socially conscious, Albedo helps Audemars Piguet support the message of the need for brands to be eco-friendlier.
Albedo at Miami Art Basel
Although Saraceno led the project, as he puts it, “I’m not the leader, I’m a participant. Aerocene is about opening up and lifting up through, just as Félix Guartarri said, the unraveling of three ecologies: environmental, societal, and mental, in order to start to imagine together a future free of borders and free of fossil fuels: a new ethical commitment to the atmosphere, a new epoch that we call Aerocene. In Miami, everyone is welcome to join the Aerocene community as we learn to cook, fly and cool the planet using only the power of the sun and attuning to the Earth’s natural planetary rhythms.”
Olivier Audemars addressed the present day urgency of the commission with guests: “Tomás and the Aerocene Foundation are working to find ways to solve environmental issues and engage the community with Albedo. We as humans need energy to live, so the question becomes how to use nature’s energy without increasing pollution and how to decrease the use of energy that directly impacts global warming. Albedo is a natural evolution from the commission Audemars Piguet presented at Art Basel in Miami Beach last year, Slow-Moving Luminaries by Lars Jan. We are proud to be supporting artists who utilize art to help us better understand our world and engage us emotionally in important topics today.”
Additionally presented by Audemars Piguet at Art Basel in Miami Beach is Promenade, an immersive video diptych by London-based, Italian visual artist Quayola. The film, open to the public throughout the week of Art Basel in Miami Beach in the rotunda in Collins Park, explored the logic and aesthetics of autonomous vehicle computer-vision systems as a drone flies through the secluded forests of the Vallée du Joux in Switzerland. Quayola’s film and accompanying photographic series Remains: Vallée de Joux was also shown in Audemars Piguet Collectors’ Lounge at Art Basel, inside the Miami Beach Convention Center, in a lounge designed by Sebastian Errazuriz. This year’s lounge marks the concluding design in a trilogy of concepts by the Chilean-born, New York-based artist and designer.
Marc Spiegler & Olivier Audemars
“We as humans need energy to live, so the question becomes how to use nature’s energy without increasing pollution and how to decrease the use of energy that directly impacts global warming.”