Heavy Breathing Blog

In their participatory project, Talking About the Weather, Australian media artists Maria Miranda and Norie Neumark collect human breath via individual contributions to a blog and their live performative encounters around the globe. The project is a dramatic, yet absurd attempt to save us from 'the terrifying spectre of global climate change.' Following in the footsteps of artists like Alfred Jarry, Eugene Ionesco, Joan Miro, and Marcel Duchamp, Miranda and Neumark seek 'an imaginary solution for an actual problem.' Asking us to save the breath we normally use to talk about the weather, they invite us to donate our exhalations to 'blow back global warming.' Since CO2 emissions are part of the problem, the artists' plan is futile: Taken literally, it's as desperate as the Sioux Buffalo Dance intended to magically restore the herds decimated by the white man's massive slaughter. But metaphorically, it's an urgent call to action: The more human breath expended in this cause, the more likely we are to reverse the lethal trend. The breath collections will be exhibited at New Zealand's Govett-Brewster Gallery, in mid-July. More contributions are invited. - Marcia Tanner