Advisory: Marquette Opus College of Engineering attempt to launch of campus’ first aerosolar sculpture
April 28, 2023
MILWAUKEE — The Opus College of Engineering at Marquette University will attempt to launch the campus’ first aerosolar sculpture — a structure made entirely of recycled plastic bags that is expected to float similarly to a hot air balloon — on Tuesday, May 2, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on the university’s Central Mall.
To construct the sculpture, the Marquette and Milwaukee communities came together to cut, decorate and repurpose hundreds of plastic bags. Instead of relying on burning fossil fuels like hot air balloons, the sculpture’s flight will be powered by energy from the sun. Marquette’s sculpture is part of the community programming developed alongside the Entangled Air exhibition at Haggerty Museum of Art, which concludes on Sunday, May 21.
Attendees of the May 2 launch event are welcome to watch or join in as Dr. Somesh Roy, assistant professor of mechanical engineering in the Opus College of Engineering, and his collaborators attempt to hoist the sculpture into the air for sustained, tethered flight.
- When: Tuesday, May 2, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
- Where: Marquette University Central Mall, located between Raynor Memorial Libraries and Lalumiere Hall (south of Wisconsin Avenue)
- Parking: Parking is available in the 16th Street Parking Structure (749 N. 16th St.). A map of the visitor parking structures can be found here.
The idea was inspired by the Aerocene movement, which leads global initiatives to create similar sculptures that raise environmental awareness among communities. The most recent Aerocene launch occurred on Wednesday, April 5, in Paris and included a human passenger. Aerocene was devised by Tomás Saraceno, whose work is featured in the Entangled Air exhibition.
Image: Tomás Saraceno, “Aerocene PM2.5” (2015), launched in Schönfelde, Germany, March 4, 2017; inkjet print (2022), 24 x 16 1/8 inches, photo print of “Aerocene PM2.5” sculpture comprised of 240 cubic meters of air, ETFE foil, PM2.5, sun, air, and wind after takeoff (image courtesy the artist and Tanya Bonakdar Gallery, New York/Los Angeles), on display at the Haggerty Museum of Art.
About Marquette University
Marquette University is a Catholic, Jesuit university located near the heart of downtown Milwaukee that offers a comprehensive range of majors in 11 nationally and internationally recognized colleges and schools. Through the formation of hearts and minds, Marquette prepares our 11,100 undergraduate, graduate, doctoral and professional students to lead, excel and serve as agents of positive change. And, we deliver results. Ranked in the top 20% of national universities, Marquette is recognized for its undergraduate teaching, innovation and career preparation as the sixth-best university in the country for job placement. Our focus on student success and immersive, personalized learning experiences encourages students to think critically and engage with the world around them. When students graduate with a Marquette degree, they are truly prepared and called to Be The Difference.
About Kevin Conway
Kevin is the associate director for university communication in the Office of University Relations. Contact Kevin at (414) 288-4745 or firstname.lastname@example.org.