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TOPIC: spiders


Webs Worldwide! Why Spiders Are So Pivotal To The Planet's Ecosystem

Threatened with extinction, these little creatures, often feared, nonetheless provide us with significant ecological services.

PARIS — At the heart of a dimly lit room, 76 spider webs intertwine and entangle. Microphones placed on either side of the space amplify the vibrations created by the spiders as they move along the threads.

One thing is certain: it's best not to be arachnophobic when visiting the place! In 2018, Tomas Saraceno was given carte blanche to take over the 13,000 m2 of the Palais de Tokyo. The Argentine artist, who has been building one of the world's largest collections of spider webs in his Berlin studio for several years, wasted no time.

With his exhibition "On Air," the Parisian contemporary art center transformed into a vast laboratory traversed by webs of various shapes, where spiders observe the visitors. For Saraceno, the webs evoke the connections that unite living beings with each other.

If the exhibition made a sensation, it's because spiders both fascinate and repulse us. But regardless of our relationship with them, we will likely need to pay them more attention in the coming years. On April 5, the French Committee of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) presented the first comprehensive assessment of spiders in France, which reveals that one in 10 species in France, out of the 1,622 identified, is threatened.

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Spider Collector In A Web Of Trouble

Main picture: Santa Rosa Press Democrat/ZUMA

With great passion comes great trouble: This could be the lesson learnt by a spider-and-bug-lover in northeastern France after he was suspected of trafficking the creepy crawlies.

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