Often people ask how birds are affected by the air

2017

Sound Composition 
for the installation by the artist Hanna Husberg
3 videos (25 min, colour, stereo, 16/9)

 


'Often people ask how birds are affected by the air', installation view, Black Sesame project space, IFP, Beijing, China


 

 

 

Addressing the cultural and political aspects of urban air in Beijing ‘Often people ask how birds are affected by the air’ draws on interviews and dialogues with locals, on existing aerial imaginaries and on new technoscientific representations of air. Because of its invisibility air is mostly mediated through scientific instruments and measurements, and through language. In China the introduction of the new concept of ‘wumai’, and the successive datafication of air, as air became “this number PM 2.5”, have produced a different augmented air, affecting ways in which air is experienced. ‘In Blue’, 25 min, the protagonists talk about their relation to air, about how it is noticed, lived with, distributed and governed. In ‘Colour code’, 25 min, colours gradually fluctuate from green to yellow to orange and red, accompanied by a soundscape that evokes the colours used to indicate the Air Quality Index, and the presence of solid matter in the air. The visual elements of the installation draw forth the materiality of existing aerial imaginaries, (‘Media imaginaries’, 12min30) but also function as light sources, and as token summoning the translations and variations taking place between spoken versus written language, and between cultures.