Air and Objecthood
Dr Sozita GoudounaZoom
Air is but one manifestation of the external structuring conditions of our existence, while breathing is an internal structuring condition. Even small changes in earth temperatures dramatically affect oxygen levels, behavior, reproductive patterns, activity and movement. These often unconscious, unnoticed and invisible human and non-human biological processes are the barometers of social and political expression of freedom. Air, the most necessary and common of all living resources, becomes a material signifier for the invisible political bonds that constitute a society.
The “inability to breathe” and social “breathlessness,” as well as notions like “settler atmospherics” and “socio-atmospherics of power” (Simmons) will be considered in the context of contemporary art practice. The socio-atmospherics of power affects our bodies, but also non-human or more – than - human creatures while climate justice is drastically extended to a multispecies justice.
Through the presentation of art practices, poetics, strategies and artworks on the theme of temporality, “air and objecthood,” the paper will examine the ways the recognition of the current “shared vulnerability” and the aesthetic “collaborations with the atmosphere” can provide a new reading of the interface between society and contemporary visual culture.