Breathe My Air, 3-channel video, stills

Breathe My Air

- A Paradoxical Conversation Piece

Breathe My Air, Video HD

Supported by: bjartlab – Li Zhenhua, City of Vienna art council, The Austrian Federal Ministry for Education, Arts and Culture, The Cultural Forum Beijing.

  • refuse the shadow of the past, curated by ASAP, University Museum and Art Gallery, The University of Hong Kong CN, 2014.
  • BREATHE MY AIR, curated by Li Zhenhua, Four Zero Space, Hangzhou CN, 2010.
  • Mifan, Babu Art Space, curated by ASAP, Shenzhen CN, 2009.
  • Mifan, Anni Art Gallery, curated by ASAP, 798 Dashanzi Art District, Beijing CN, 2009.
  • VIDEO PROJECT LAUNCH at CPU:798 Art Space, curated by Edward Sanderson, Peking CN, 2008.

Filmed and edited by
Sylvia Eckermann and Gerald Nestler

© 2008. 3-channel video, duration: 01:58:14
Languages: English, German and Chinese
Subtitles: English and Chinese
Filmed at locations in Beijing, Chengdu, Shanghai, Western Sichuan, Northern Yunnan, Krems, Stopfenreuther Au and Vienna.

The conceptual framework for the recordings is based on Oriental Chinese as well as Occidental notions of society, art, nature and environment. It fashions a platform that spans history, time and ideas of both cultures by conducting an exchange between contemporary proponents of art, philosophy and culture.

We refer to this mutual engagement as a paradoxical conversation: The participants did not meet physically, their contributions were edited to form strips of interweaving, emphatic and thoughtful information.

At the core of our video recordings are notions regarding Progress, Change and Utopia. These terms are examined for their past and present influence on the individual participants and their respective cultures.

Interpretations are grounded in socio-cultural environments. The more we share and interact, the more we learn to perceive our cultural settings as differentiations inside a global perspective, the more prolific, the more intertwined this exchange is going to become, developing new, alternative forms of cohabitation along the way.

Exchange as an alternative "currency" of socio-cultural information and commodities flows is a practice in personal communication and cultural enrichment that is not standardized (in contrast to money) and is mutual (in contrast to the gift). In a more and more global world, it allows for a direct, fluid, integrative and participative communicationand practice. In Breathe My Air, it materializes to an "invisible sculpture" that is an homage to extended and extensive ranges of perceptions in-between.

As an art project, Breathe My Air can neither change the quality of a city such as Beijing nor influence political or economic powers and their standardized contracts that form our future in reality. What it can do--and what might be called its utopia, is help build our vistors' experience that it does matter and that it is of vital importance to engage yourself by participating, acting, theorizing and last but not least by exchanging on all possible "channels".

THE PARTICIPIANTS in order of recording

Phase I - Europe / Vienna

Thomas Feuerstein
Brigitte Podgorschek
Wolfgang Prinzgau
Axel Stockburger
Cornelia Offergeld
Michael Hoepfner
Oliver Grau

Wendy Coones
Oliver Irschitz
Wolf-Guenter Thiel
Jasmin Ladenhaufen
Karel Dudesk
artist, reseacher
art historian, curator
media art historian,
Professor for Image Science
art historian
architect, designer
art historian, curator
fashion artist

Phase II - China / Beijing

Cao Ke Fei
Li Zhenhua
Yu Qiong
Xing Danwen
Qiu Zhijie
Miao Xiaochun
Li Shi
Renia Ho
Wong Wei
Pauline Yao
Zhao Tingyang
Tony Liang Fu
Xi Chuan
Ou Ning

Zhang Wei
theatre maker, director
curator, media artist
documentary film maker
artist, photographer
artist, Arrow Factory
artist, Arrow Factory
art historian, Arrow Factory
emerging cuator, art critic
poet, writer
artist, editor,
director of Shao Foundation, Beijing
gallerist, Vitamine Creative Space,
Guangzhou / The Shop, Beijing