Often people ask how birds are affected by the air / 风起惹尘埃

- by Hanna Husberg
 

At the intersection of philosophy, politics, science and lived experience, ‘Often people ask how birds are affected by the air’ looks at how air, that is unruly when it comes to borders, functions in the human imagination. As it mutates and migrates, is the experience of air translateable, measurable?

 

Addressing the cultural and political aspects of urban air Husberg’s work builds upon her 3-month residency at IFP last autumn, during which her main practice was to talk and listen to locals, collecting their imaginaries of urban air. Narratives and imaginaries refer to the social domain of seeing, experiencing, thinking, fantasising, discussing and enacting aspect of the material world. Imaginaries are processes of negotiating claims to knowledge and truth. They are transformational, and enable new ways of knowing and acting in the world.

 

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.

 

Drawing on her experience from Beijing, on the interviews and dialogues she had throughout this period, on existing aerial imaginaries and new technoscientific representations, Husberg has conceived an audiovisual installation that engages with the materiality of air. A soundscape that evokes the colours used to indicate the Air Quality Index, and the related presence of solid matter in the air, fills the space using the aerial media it explores. The visual elements of the installation draw forth the materiality of existing aerial imaginaries, but also function as light sources, and as token summoning the translations and variations taking place between spoken versus written language, and between cultures.

 

On October 29th at 17:00 a panel discussion with invited guests will be held at the IFP. It will address cultural and political aspects of urban air, with a focus on the perceptibility of air and its pollution, on agency and response-ability, and on environmental imaginaries. The panel includes Agata Marzecova, Lulu Li, Veronica Sun, Hanna Sahlberg and Guo Hao.

在哲学、政治、科学和生活经验的交叉点上,“风起惹尘埃?”这个说法提示出,自由流动的空气在人类想象中发挥的作用。随着它的变化与迁移,空气流动的过程是否可以被译解,或者被衡量?

 

Hanna对城市空气在文化和政治意义上的研究是从去年她在激发研究所三个月的驻地时开始的。其间,她与本地人进行了大量交谈,了解他们对城市空气的看法。她的叙事和想象,来源于人们从社会角度对物质世界的观察、体验、思考。想象是在知识和真相之间游走的一种可以转换的过程,同时也是可以认知世界,以及如何在其中自处的新方法。

 

由于空气的不可见性(主要是通过科学仪器测量,通过语言来描述),“雾霾”这个概念在中国的产生使得空气(质量)可以被精确地测量——空气“变成”了PM2.5数值。空气的概念有了新的解读和体验,也影响了人们对空气的看法。

 

Hanna从她在北京的采访和对话出发,根据那些对空气的想象和科学性的数据,创作出了一系列视觉、听觉装置,和空气本身的物质性相配合。空气质量指标的配色与空气可能的质感,两者联系在一起,还和声音装置相结合,成为了“空气中的装置”。而视觉元素则是强调了现有空气想象的物质感受,它们起到了光源的作用——让口头日常表达与书面正式表达,以及文化间的交流产生变化。

 

此外,10月29日(本周日)下午5点,将会在激发研究所办公室展开一场讨论会。艺术家同邀请嘉宾会从文化和政治的角度看待空气问题,强调对空气和污染的感知力,反应力以及环境想象力。该讨论除了Hanna,发言嘉宾还包括Agata Marzecova、Lulu Li、孙玙和郭颢。

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激发研究所

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