In this work, I am considering the materiality of air, our connection and continuity with this medium - thinking through this work of notions of collective agency and interdependency - on an environmental and extended body scale. I performed this in the context of a performance class titled Walking Anew at MIT in 2020 taught by Jesal Kapadia. Images are from a series of 8min microscopic videos I took of materials from my home burning, blending, transforming which I VJ showed after reading.
To begin, find a comfortable position.
Become aware of how your body feels.
Take a deep breath in, and as you exhale,
Let your body begin to relax.
Scan your body.
With the next inhalation, if you notice that your top and bottom teeth are touching,
If your tongue touches the roof of your mouth,
soften it down and away
And your eyebrows, might they rest too?
Or if not, notice if you can feel their weight for a moment
Like your bottom teeth, tongue, eyes, and eyebrows, notice your shoulders
can there be any amount more space between your shoulders and ears
Can your shoulders let go a little with each exhale?
Any amount is good.
Notice if this next exhale can last any amount longer than the last.
Your exhale will always follow your inhale and your inhale will always follow your exhale.
Maybe put one hand on your belly or chest to feel your breath in your body.
Maybe feel breath above your lip or below your nose
Tingling the hairs of your nostrils.
Relax your eyebrows again,
Maybe listen to the sound of your body breathing
Notice all the parts of you that rest to any surface like the floor, chair, or bed
Notice all the parts that don’t.
Scrunch your face together
Pull all your facial muscles tightly to the center.
Make a sound
And then release all your facial muscles.
If you are standing, notice how your shoulders can soften towards your feet and your feet into the floor.
Take another deep breath in.
This time, visualize the air entering your body.
Does it have particles?
What do they look like?
Now imagine the journey of one of these particles through your body as you inhale.
Exhale deeply, maybe through your mouth.
Did that particle make it out?
Has it changed after entering your body?
Now imagine your body dissolving slowly and gently into the air.
You release your skin, your organs, everything is lighter
And floating in air.
You are now the air, you are the surroundings.
You engulf everyone.
You can be penetrated by a person, or a plane.
Did a flock of birds just fly through you?
You are transformed by something.
Something has changed your nature.
Is it smoke?
Are you cold? Are you humid?
Are you heavy? Do you smell?
What do you smell of?
What color are you?
What sounds do you make?
Listen to the sounds around you.
You are wind.
How many directions are blowing at the same time?
Gravity is pulling you down,
But you move across space quickly.
You arrive with dust to a town.
You make the inhabitants sleepy.
Open your eyes.
Close them again.
Scan your body.
Where did this air go?