Calendar, News or Gestures

Post category

æthēr (a.) · 2012

cartel 02
æthēr (a.). Collective Action. Poster. London 2012.

æthēr is the vacuum that fills everything. When appropriating the interstitial vacuum between bodies, it creates a temporal community based on the air that moves between them. The invisibility of the vacuum fills the room and the gases ingested during the work lead to the creation of a community through infection.

The latent work becomes activated with the participant inhalation/exhalation. Without their breathing the work remains static or trapped.

The infection between the piece and community is imminent. Immunity, as a defence of what is owned and private, is nullified. Breathing escapes any control. Thus, we cannot be immune. Limits become blurred and incite us to an incessant reciprocity. Community is the mere body understood as a relation with the atmosphere. The exhaled air is the same air that another person inhales. I breathe in what you breathe out. The air is a common space.

The exploration conducted by the mouth, that absorbs and inhales substances, unleashes the contended gases that flow to the entrails once they are freed. Different findings in each inhalation produce the temporary acceptance of atypical illusions challenging the semantics of what it is recognizable. Memory and senses alter and generate unexpected images and inundate the fresh shaped space.

In a symbiotic process the piece captures the community. With each breathing the space trembles, evolving together. The vacuum contended scatters around the room becoming a huge breathing lung. It transforms the participants into a great social organ and an alveolar group, all of them forming the community. The organs explore the space as receivers. Bodies appropriate the artwork by directing and admiring the objects in it, and at the same time the work dominates and mirrors the group as an autonomous and triggering entity.

The work is consumed during the celebration and is distorted in the memory, and its oral dissemination keeps expanding the creation of new realities. The bodies are containers and transmitters of the work.


æthēr (a.) is a collective experience, canalised and contended through an installation in an expositive space. Various machines created to ingest gases activate the work and thus, the shared air in the room becomes apparent. These devises or technologies are means to inhale the air. The air in the room is capable of levitating objects, to numb the tongue, to change the tone of voice, to cry, to generate an explosion sensation inside the mouth or solidify the air.

On the first approach to the work two aerostatic containers were used to inhale the gas contained in their inside through collective valves. On display there are holes that make you cry, glass cabinets that contain a strange liquid generated with the participants exhalations, and edible bombs.

When the action expires, the room is hermetically sealed, capturing the communal air created by the exhalations of the participants throughout the action. This air is compressed inside a metallic capsule big enough to contain the entire room´s air. After that day the room is sealed and closed to the public during the exhibition’s length.

The memory of that moment remains in each participant as a transmitter of the experience and inside each capsule that holds the community air, and that subsequently could become free and pollute another space.