Our research group hosted a great workshop on the topic of “Breathing Commons” on Friday 6th of November at the AIR Lab.

We did individual and collective breathing Exercises, which was a challenging and discursive activity to pursue during Covid pandemic times. However, this helped us to reflect on the importance of breathing and the changing perception of what breathing means these days. We collected and documented first-person experiences of breathing using Body Maps, followed by sharing those with one another.

We also listened to pre-recorded (individual) breathings collectively, and we reflected on and discussed how the breaths sound – and what the recordings of breaths do to our experiences of breathing as a sociosonic material.

During the last part of the workshop we experienced breathing rhythms through actuated materials. We felt on our backs how shape-change inflatable latex shapes “breathe” and shared our first-person experiences of having these actuating materials breathe while touching our bodies. This was followed by observations on the “liveliness of such other material bodies” breathing in and out.

We are planning a second workshop in December, which will include collective exercises for reflecting on the “commons” aspect of breathing, and explorations with programmable inputs and outputs of letting air in and out of shape-change materials.