breathing. space. no. 10: immediations workshop

Over the ANZAC weekend, Australasian members of the Immediations research project gathered together in Melbourne for three days of experimentation and discussion. Knotty problems such as “How to amplify and expand in order to slow down?” and “How to pass on an act of listening?” were workshopped through practical experimentation and improvisation.

Photographs and video by Georgina Matherson.

breath clouds

2014-breath_clouds-01Electronics, software, air and breath. Visualisation programming by Jeff Hannam.
Exhibited in the group show THISNESS.
BUS Projects, Melbourne.
April 9 – 26, 2014

Inspired by the experience of exhalations being made visible in the cold, dry, wintertime air before dissipating into the wider atmosphere, this project uses breath as a way to understand the reciprocal relationships present in the making of oneself through and with the environment. Breath Clouds makes perceptible flows and exchanges of energy, using aural and visual responses to set up feedback loops between our individual presence and the atmosphere of the gallery space.

Thanks to Tony for the photos.

conference : moved —

on atmospheres and affects

2013-interstices-breath-doodles

My paper “Drawing of Breath: a provisional diagram for the reciprocal relations between atmospheres and affects” has been accepted for the upcoming Interstices conference “Moved: On Atmospheres and Affects” which is to be held in Auckland, New Zealand from November 22–24. Gernot Böhme will give the keynote presentation. Further details are available on the Interstices website.

Abstract:
From a young age I have always enjoyed exhaling into the cold dry air of wintertime and delighting in how breath, made visible, dissipates into the wider atmosphere. Evidence of the atmospheric differences within and without gives rise to wonderment, and in turn, a will — to the point of hyperventilation — to create more and more breath-clouds. This play of breath is an example of the distinctions between affects and atmospheres and their reciprocal folding together. The commonplaceness of breathing offers productive ways of understanding the remaking of self and environment and their ambiguous inter-relationship. The act of breathing is an intimate, energetic exchange between the world and our bodies; sustaining us, it is also a distributed act of collective connection. To breathe in is to draw the world inwards, to take in its forces and to draw sustenance from it. To breathe out is to expel something very personal into the public domain, where others may in turn draw it inwards in a constant process of exchange. Absorbing and being affected by diffuse, ephemeral qualities of space, means making sense of atmospheres and affects requires understanding bodily engagement.
Numerous art and architectural projects make specific use of breath as a motif or modus operandi, two of which I will examine in detail. A discussion of Decosterd and Rahm’s Hormonium will focus on how the drawing inwards of atmospheres via the respiratory and endocrine systems creates internally registered bodily affects. The second project, Diller Scofidio + Renfro’s extension to the Hirshhorn Museum in Washington, DC, emphasises the registration of breath as a collective act in the public sphere. They see the project as making visible the “air of democracy,” via an inflatable public space for lectures and discussion. These projects, while using breath in quite different registers, build on an understanding of bodies and environments as being intertwined, if still separable. This condition of being together-but-separable is explored in Ben Anderson’s essay Affective Atmospheres. I similarly investigate the always in-process nature of atmospheres in this paper, drawing conscious attention to the process of breathing as a specific mechanism for becoming aware of the interrelationships between affects and atmospheres, bodies and environments.

building movements #4 (bhubble)

building movements #3-1Polythene sheets, fan.
4.2 x 1.8 x 2.4m

A pressurised, inflatable room directly adjoining a lift in the RMIT Design Hub. When the lift doors open, the change in pressure causes the space to slightly deflate. As the doors close it re-inflates to its maximum dimensions over a period of approximately 10 seconds. The room is patterned with translucent circles, a direct reference to the facade of the building in which it is sited.

with Scott Andrew Elliott, Olivia Pintos Lopez and Katherine Brown, Daniel Vito Colaneri, Leanne Failla, Stephanie Gleeson, Frances Gordon, Ben Warren, Freya Robinson, Jack Ryan and Jaime Vella.

building movements #3 (strips)

building movements #4-1
4200 strips of magnetic tape.
1.9 x 1.6 x 2.4m

On exiting the lift, one’s head and shoulders are immersed in a dense field of black, glossy, lightweight, threads that form a rectilinear volume equal to the lift interior. These move in relation to the slightest movement of air, being drawn towards your body during an inhalation, and pushed away by exhalations or other air movements.

with Scott Andrew Elliott, Olivia Pintos Lopez and Katherine Brown, Daniel Vito Colaneri, Leanne Failla, Stephanie Gleeson, Frances Gordon, Ben Warren, Freya Robinson, Jack Ryan and Jaime Vella.

 

building movements

Building Movements

Taking the building as a site for research and experimentation, Building Movements works directly upon the RMIT Design Hub, to interrupt habitual processes through the production of environments, drawings, and events. Following on from a research workshop held at the Design Hub in June 2013, these projects will reveal how we interact with, and are embedded within, architectural surrounds. Demanding an active engagement with the space leads to a deeper awareness of the mechanisms at play in the interaction between organisms and environments.

Installations by the Affective Environments architecture and interior design student workshop led by Chris Cottrell, Scott Andrew Elliott and Olivia Pintos–Lopez.
Projects by James Carey, Zuzana Kovar, Nick Skepper, Pia Ednie-Brown, and Adele Varcoe.
Curated by Pia Ednie-Brown.

A DRI associated event – supported by the Australian Research Council and a residency funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada.

breathing. space. no. 9: lift lecture

I gave a 30 minute lecture, “Air–Atmospheres–Breath–Affects,” in a public elevator at the RMIT Design Hub to a group of ten students. The lift space moved up and down according to the demands of other building users, and there were noticeable changes in air temperature between the lift itself, upper floors and the ground floor and basement levels. The presentation set up an unexpected environment for others to step into, a chance encounter with a short fragment of the lecture as they moved between floors. As a performance, the lecture created an intimate space where breath was shared, and the elevator was understood as a means of shifting parcels of air around the building.

Thanks to Scott Andrew Elliott for holding the projector!

Images to come…