Arachnophilia is an open invitation to an interdisciplinary network of spider/webs enthusiasts. It seeks to weave a relationship between scientific, philosophical, cultural images and stories that describe the synanthropic and entangled relations that have existed between humans and spiders over thousands of years. We hope to shift how people value these relations—how we notice, connect with and care for our arachnid kin.
Arachnophilia will collaboratively build key archives to help reach this aim, and to share something of the unique sensory Umwelten of spiders with a broader audience, reaching beyond art into multiple disciplinary fields and bodies of knowledge. These include: a 3-D archive of spider/web typologies, made possible via the Spider Web Scan - a unique, laser-supported tomographic method pioneered by Saraceno in collaboration with researchers at the TU Darmstadt in 2009/10 that allowed, for the first time, precise 3-D models to be generated of complex spider webs; an archive of spider/web vibrations recorded on different web types, building upon the biotremological innovations in spider/web recording and sonification devices developed by Studio Tomás Saraceno; and an archive of maps of spider/web ecologies, that make visible the ways in which spider and human habitats are intertwined, in sites across the globe.
Building on the innovations arising from Tomás Saraceno’s collaborative research into spider/web architectures, biomaterials, biotremology and behaviour, the broad aim of Arachnophilia is to increase visibility and change people's perceptions of spiders and webs - within the context of the current ecological crisis, what some have named the sixth mass extinction.
By sharing the content of these archives as well as the tools with which to collaboratively build and enrich them, we hope to empower a broader audience to contribute to an understanding of our relationships with our arachnid kin, and therefore, we hope, to have a renewed perspective on our responsibilities toward the nonhuman creatures with whom we share our environments.
To learn more about these archives, or to contribute to their expansion, please contact us
Special thanks to the following institutional collaborators, without whose support and contributions our arachnophilia endeavours would not be possible:
Key artistic institutions, including:
Palais de Tokyo, Paris (Rebecca LaMarche-Vadel & Jean de Loisy)
Museo de Arte Moderno, Buenos Aires (Victoria Noorthoorn)
Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Monterrey, Mexico (Gonzalo Ortega)
Centre for Contemporary Art, Singapore (Ute Meta Bauer & Anca Rujiou)
Museo Villa Croce, Genova (Ilaria Bonacossa & Luca Cerizza)
Bonniers Konsthall, Sweden (Sara Arrhenius)
Key scientific and research institutions, including:
MIT, Massachusetts (Markus J Buehler, Evan Ziporyn, Leila Kinney)
Senckenberg Research Institute and Natural History Museum, Frankfurt am Main (Peter Jäger)
Max Planck Institute, Department of Collective Behaviour, Konstanz (Alex Jordan)
Macquarie University, Sydney (Jonas Wolff)
Natural History Museum, Berlin (Andreas Wessell, Hannelore Hoch)
Frederique Ait-Touati, French National Centre for Scientific Research (Philosophy), Mitchell Akiyama, University of Toronto (Sound Theory), Agelena labyrinthica (Berlin), Amaurobius erberi (Venice), Anelosimus studiosus (USA, donated by Angela Chuang), Araneus diadematus (Berlin), Araniella cucurbitina (Berlin), Argiope bruennichi (Berlin), Argiope lobata (Croatia), Argyroneta aquatica, Sara Arrhenius, Royal Institute of Art Stockholm (Art History), Leticia Aviles, University of British Columbia (Arachnology), Badumna longinqua (Argentina, donated by Martin Ramirez, originally from Australia), Friedrich G. Barth, Department of Neurobiology, University of Vienna, Bathyphantes gracilis (Venice), Ute Meta Bauer, Centre for Contemporary Art, Nanyang Technical University (Singapore), Ilaria Bonacossa, Artissima, Turin (Art History), Markus J Buehler, Laboratory for Atomistic and Molecular Mechanics, MIT (Biomateriomics), Centromerus sylvaticus (Venice), Luca Cerizza, NABA (Art History), Moonsong Cho, Institute of Bioprocess Engineering, Technische Universität, Berlin (Aeronautical Engineering), Angela Chuang, University of Tennessee, Knoxville (Arachnology), Emanuele Coccia, Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales Paris (Philosophy), Iain Couzin, Max Planck Institute Konstanz (Collective Behaviour), Cyclosa conica (Berlin), Cyrtophora citricola (Croatia/United States, some donated by Angela Chuang), Cyrtophora sp. (China, donated by Peter Jäger), Vinciane Despret, University of Liège (Ethology and Philosophy), Diplocephalus connectens (Venice), William Eberhard, Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (Arachnology), Sasha Engelmann, Royal Holloway, University of London, Enoplognatha ovata (Berlin), Eratigena atrica (Berlin), Erigone dentipalpis (Venice), Fecenia sp. (China, donated by Peter Jäger), Lukas Feireiss, Berlin (Contemporary Art), Frontinellina sp., Gianni Garrera (Art Critic), Helena Granström, Sweden (Physics), Joseph Grima, Space Caviar, London (Architecture and Art), Haplodrassus dalmatensis (Venice), Bani Haykal, Singapore (Music), Stefan Helmreich, MIT (Anthropology), Peggy Hill, University of Tulsa, Texas (Biotremology), Hannelore Hoch, Natural History Museum, Berlin (Biotremology), Holocnemus pluchei (Paris/Croatia/Berlin), Marco Isaia, University of Turin (Arachnology), Peter Jäger, Senckenberg Research Institute and Natural History Museum (Arachnology), Caroline A Jones, Department of Architecture, MIT (Art & Science), Alex Jordan, Max Planck Institute for Ornithology, Konstanz (Group Animal Behaviour), Jeffrey Kastner, Cabinet Magazine (Contemporary Art), Stavros Katsanevas, National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS) Paris (Astrophysics), Leila Kinney, Centre for Art, Science and Technology, MIT (Art History), Joyce Beetuan Koh, Singapore (Music), Joseph Koh, National University of Singapore (Arachnology), Kukulcania hibernalis, Larinioides sclopetarius (Berlin), Bruno Latour, Sciences Po, Paris (Humanities and Social Sciences), Latrodectus geometricus (Germany), Latrodectus mactans, Lepthyphantes istrianus (Venice), Lepthyphantes tenuis (Venice), Linyphia triangularis (Berlin), Linyphiidae spp. (Berlin/Croatia), Yael Lubin, Ben Gurion University of the Negev (Arachnology), Alvin Lucier (Sound Art), Mangora acalypha (Venice), Chus Martinez, Academy of Art and Design Basel (Art History), Brian Massumi, University of Montreal (Philosophy), Rosa Matteucci (Literature), Mecopisthes nicaeensis (Venice), Meioneta mollis (Venice), Meioneta rurestris (Venice), Microctenonyx subitaneus (Venice), Roland Mühlethaler, Naturschutzbund Deutschland e.V. (Biotremology and Entomology), Nephila edulis (Germany, originally from Australia), Nephila inaurata (UK, originally from Africa), Nephila senegalensis (Germany, donated by Jutta Schneider, originally from Africa), Neriene clathrata (Berlin), Neriene peltata (Berlin), Molly Nesbit, Vassar College (Art History), Federico Nicolao, Paris (Aesthetics), Hans Ulrich Obrist, Serpentine Galleries, London (Art Historian), Rolf Niedringhaus, Carl von Ossietzky Universität Oldenburg (Biology), Brian O’Reilly, Singapore (Music), Pachygnatha degeeri (Venice), Joshua de Paiva, Musée de la Chasse et de la Nature Paris (Philosophy), Parasteatoda tepidariorum (Berlin), Parawixia bistriata (Argentina), Jussi Parikka, Winchester School of Art, University of Southampton (Media Theory), Pelecopsis krausi (Venice), Boštjan Perovšek, Slovenia (Bioacoustician), Philoponella alata (China, donated by Peter Jäger), Pholcus phalangioides, Prinerigone vagans (Venice), Elizabeth A Povinelli, Columbia University (Anthropology, Critical Theory and Film), Psechrus jaegeri (China, donated by Peter Jäger), Eliane Radigue, Paris (Music), Federico Rahola, University of Genoa (Sociology), Filipa Ramos, Kingston University and Central Saint Martins (Experimental Film and Contemporary Art), Christine Rollard, Paris National Museum of Natural History (Araneology), David Rothenberg (Music), Jutta Schneider, University of Hamburg (Arachnology), Helen Smith, Australian Museum, Sydney (Arachnology), Volker Springel, Max-Planck-Institute for Astrophysics, Munich (Astrophysics), Steatoda grossa (Berlin), Steatoda nobilis, Steatoda phalerata (Venice), Steatoda triangulosa (Berlin), Isabelle Su, Laboratory for Atomistic and Molecular Mechanics, MIT (Biomateriomics), Tegenaria domestica (Berlin), Theridiidae spp. (Berlin/China, some donated by Peter Jäger), Jol Thomson, Doctoral candidate, University of Westminster (Art and Science), Tiso vagans, David Toop (Music Theory), Trichopterna cito (Venice), Etienne Turpin (Philosophy), Gabriele Uhl, University of Greifswald (Arachnology), Uloborus plumipes (Berlin), Andreas Wessel, Natural History Museum, Berlin (Biotremology), Mark Wigley, Columbia University (Architecture), Jonas Wolff, Macquarie University, Sydney (Arachnology), David Zeitlyn, University of Oxford (Anthropology), Evan Ziporyn, Centre for Art, Science and Technology, MIT (Music), Samuel Zschokke, University of Basel (Arachnology), Zilla diodia (Venice), Zygiella x-notata (Berlin).