Circular Breathing (2002)

Circular Breathing is a personal breath recorder. While breathing and blowing into the mouthpiece, the viewer records a breath pattern. After letting go of the button, the breath pattern plays back indefinitely, looping from start to finish. The piece turns the circular process of breathing into a circular recording. With practice, viewers can create seamless air loops that mimic the break beat loops of hip-hop composition. The “synthetic” breath recordings give the fan a lifelike quality, challenging viewers to contemplate the everyday equation of breath with life.

Exhibition History

Art Interactive, Boston, 2003


About the Breath Series

This series of works explore the recording, playback and amplification of breath through electromechanical processes. Each piece is a phenomenological experiment in pure body intelligence. How is the disembodied representation of breath still human? How is a breath truly ones own, if it can be precisely reproduced? What connects airflow from one moment to the next as a perceived continuity we label as breath? Do we own our breath? And can we rightly label breath as “mine” when it is an equal exchange: parts of ourselves continuously exchanging with parts of our environment, and even parts of others’ bodies? What are the implications of imposing our bodies on technology instead of technology dominating our bodies? What is the least measurable expression of life and personality?