Transmitting the Body, 2018
Vinyl tubing, plastic sheet
10 x 20 x 50”
In Marc Dessauce’s essay On Pneumatic Apparitions, he described the symbolic power of inflatable objects, particularly their “dialectic of confinement and cure, fusion and evasion,” and how they were used in “meditative isolation.” Transmitting the Body focuses on the power of confined air to take up and claim space as its own; confined air can also be easily transported over a distance, to reach someone and take up his/her space. This becomes a way of communication.
There are two interactive devices shaped like lungs. On each, four inflatable plastic bags are attached to a long vinyl tubing. To start, each person inserts the bags under his/her clothes and hands his/her attached vinyl tube to the other person. Standing back to back, each person blows into the other person’s tube, and transmits his/her breath to the other person; the plastic bags inflate and take up the void between each person’s body and clothes, creating an intimate space—not quite in the person’s body, not quite outside of it. With each breath, the bags gently heave, pressing their warmth against the body. Being in contact with the bags, each person “touches” the air of the other person and senses the rhythm of his/her being.
Collaboration with Jesung Lee.