Last Breath | 2014 - Rafael Lozano-Hemmer
['Electronics', 'Software', 'Design'] - Description

Courtesy of Antimodular Inc.
Courtesy of Antimodular Inc.


Courtesy of Antimodular Inc.
Courtesy of Antimodular Inc.


Courtesy of Antimodular Inc.
Courtesy of Antimodular Inc.


Courtesy of Antimodular Inc.
Courtesy of Antimodular Inc.


Description | Official Site: Last Breath by Rafael Lozano-Hemmer
Last Breath is an installation designed to store and circulate the breath of a person forever. The piece consists of a small brown paper bag which inflates and deflates automatically thanks to motorized bellows similar to those found in artificial respirators in hospitals. The apparatus hangs on a wall and is activated 10,000 times a day, the typical respiratory frequency for an adult at rest, including 158 sighs. Each stroke of the machine advances a digital counter that beeps. The breath circulates between the bellows and the paper bag through a ribbed transparent plastic tube that emits a faint and hypnotic low sound. The tube can be as large as necessary to either hang the bag right beside the piece, on the same wall, or to create a labyrinth on the ceiling of the exhibition that ends with the bag suspended in the middle of the room. The brown paper bag makes a rhythmic crushing sound as it inflates and deflates. As a biometric portrait, the piece requires careful curation, and the question of who gets stored should be in itself an interesting debate. The portrait should work as a living memorial of a senior respected artist, ideally a poet, singer or dancer. A small video of the person blowing into the bag is exhibited beside the apparatus.

Jordan Parsons - Programming and hardware
David St-Onge - Programming and hardware
Guillaume Tremblay, Pierre Fournier and Sebastien Dallaire - Production support

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