Thermodynamic Constellation, is a massive 2020 installation by artist Tomás Saraceno. It consists of three hanging spheres made of semi translucent reflective foil. In these photographs it is installed in the Palazzo Strozzi Courtyard in Florence, Italy. The strange contemporary material acts as a veil and a mirror as it reflects the Renaissance architecture.

Tomás Saraceno. Aria is Thermodynamic Constellation

Messiaen’s commentary for IX. Regard du temps (Gaze of time)

“Mystery of the plenitude of time; time sees born inside itself one who is eternal …

Short, cold, strange theme like the egg-shaped heads of Chiroco; rhythmic canon.”

Both the artwork and the music convey a sense of mystery. They play with our perception of space and time with dissonant juxtapositions of sound and the architecture. Last week we dwelled on hope but this week are dwelling on the theme of preparation. Quite simply, as when entering the temple, advent is a time of preparation for Christ to come into the world but also a time for us to prepare ourselves to receive Him.

We must reflect upon the self. These mysterious spheres are a trinity hanging in the space above us which reveal our reflections in a peculiar manner. They are both physical and ephemeral, as are the notes that fade away in this song, and they distort our normal perception.

Saraceno thinks of this work as a step in the development of a sort of flight that is not dependent on fossil fuels. As aircraft they are alien or inhuman as they float in this courtyard. He asks us to stop thinking of 'man at the centre of the world,' but to think of ourselves as, 'part of the universe.'

The Incarnation reveals our creatureliness. It reveals we are not gods walking in this world but are just a part of the universe. We are just another part of God's creation. Yet, God loves us so He sends His Son to save us.

In what manner are we special? In what manner are we worthy to prepare a place for His Son?