the breather

The pupils dilate. Sweat pours out. Blood vessels near the skin contract,
while those in the brain and muscles dilate to increase the oxygen supply.
The gastrointestinal tract, including the stomach and intestines, slows down.
The heart beats faster, and blood pressure rises.

conception & video: Laura Colmenares Guerra
sound interaction & composition: Todor Todoroff
video interaction: Yacine Sebti

Lungs [the breather] was funded with a production grant by the Vlaamse Overheid (Belgium Flemish Government) and with a promotion grant by La Communauté Française de Belgique: secteur des Arts numériques. It is supported by: ARTeM – Nadine – Foam. It was premiered during the artistic residency received by the artist Laura Colmenares Guerra at Nadine (Brussels-Belgium) in June 2008.

Lungs [the breather] has been exhibited at:

PING! Festival, September 2008 in Mallorca, Spain - Crea Numerica, under the frame of “Les Jeux de la Francophonie" 2009, Beirut-Lebanon - CitySonic Festival, September 2010, Mons - Belgium

Lungs [the breather] is an interactive, immersive installation, which explores involuntary bodily processes brought into consciousness through the experience of the piece. By amplifying and intensifying the unconscious body process of breathing, it aims to generate a conscious movement towards the question of body perception. “Breath” is the path that potentials the interconnections between body processes of the participants. Through breathing the participants receive feedback from their own breathing process, as well as from the people they are connected too. These processes are translated into video and audio responses.

The experience of the piece begins when the participants enter the space and sit on one of the rocks. There’s a mask beside each rock. Each participant takes a mask and starts breathing through it with immediate audio response. Each participant is assigned with 4 jellyfishes.

When everybody is set-up and starts breathing through the system, the video starts reacting to the data coming from the sensors. A set of up to maximum 16 projected jellyfishes (4 per person) appear swimming inside a “pool” filled with white liquid, that serves as projection screen. The jellyfishes follow the breather’s pace. A 10 minutes scenario guides the participants through evolving video and audio states of interaction.

Through the experience, a space that implies personal immersion begins to generate physical destabilization by the diffusion of the bodies present. While the experience implies a real conscious observation and identification of our own specific involuntary processes, it raises the tension between different aspects of our selves, as human beings, in a collective frame.

Note: For information about theoretical and historical research, please contact:

Is the nature of our subjectivity fragmented and decentred? Does any specific experience consideres the subject as neutral? Centred in ‘a priori’? What kind of subject implies the installation experience? Does installation art call for emancipation? Does it question our sense of stability? How the subject positions himself towards the object, towards the space?