Of spiders and simulations: artmachines at Studio Tomás Saraceno

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This article employs Anne Sauvagnargues’ writing on ‘artmachines’ to explore a series of experiments with spiders and simulations at Studio Tomás Saraceno. These experiments were the first to ‘capture’ or ‘image’ the black widow spider’s highly complex, three-dimensional web and to investigate its similarity to astrophysical simulations of the universe. To develop the artmachine for cultural geographies of art, and as a grammar for techno-aesthetic and multispecies artistic practices, the article approaches Studio Saraceno’s webbed experiments as artmachines, or ‘ecologies of images’. In doing so, the article addresses the role of haecceity and simulation to accentuate the many forms of image-making and becoming within and beyond the studio. This account amplifies affective relations between humans, spiders, and webs, relations that emerge before and beyond the gallery or the exhibition. Thinking with artmachines also manifests art’s alliances to technology without foreclosing its unique modes of individuation. For these reasons, artmachines may hold promise for cultural geographies of art, creative practice, and production.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)305-322
Number of pages18
JournalCultural Geographies
Issue number3
Early online date3 Apr 2019
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2019


  • art
  • experiment
  • machine
  • Saraceno
  • spiders
  • simulation

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