The Data that We Breathe: 2016
Caroline Bergvall (London-based artist, writer and performer), Judd Morrissey (writer, code artist and professor, School of the Art Institute of Chicago), and Jennifer Scappettone (cross-disciplinary writer, scholar and professor, English and Committee on Creative Writing, University of Chicago) launch a series of experiments into the physical and poetic dimensions of breath: its channeling in the evolution and performance of human languages, and its molecular migrations through instruments, terrains, and times.
Supported by a Gray Center Mellon Foundation Collaborative Fellowship for Arts Practice and Scholarship, The Data That We Breathe encompassed a collaborative artists' residency as well as an interdisciplinary course at the University of Chicago, an experiment in which research, practice, and pedagogy interpermeated in the adaptive environment of The Gray Center Lab.
An initial intensive residency of collaborative teaching and creative experimentation culminated in a site-adaptive performance for 6018 North, a stripped house for arts and culture in Chicago. Invited by the IN>TIME performance festival, the event engaged the circulation of breath and air through the permeable walls and floors and explored copper as an infrastructural component of domestic interiors and telecommunications infrastructure. An aeloian visualization mapped an archive of texts to the wild air of the city.
The evening also included an invited performance by cris cheek, down with the dabs, and The Perplexity of Growth or Stagnation, a live installation by University of Chicago student and class participant, Andrew Bearnot.
A year-long project, The Data that We Breathe
concluded in November 2017 with a performance of SMOKEPENNY LYRICHORD HEAVENBRED
, a collaboration between myself, Jennifer Scappettone and Abraham Avnisan, along with a showing of documentation of Bergvall's new work, Ragadawn
. In the last 6 months of the fellowship, following Bergvall's departure from Chicago, Jen, Abe, and myself studied the copper country in Michigan's upper peninsula. While Jen developed a poetic manuscript with live performance elements, Abe and I collaboratively coded software for augmented text, immersive visualization and telegraph encryption/decryption. The three of us researched and worked generatively with archival materials at the University of Michigan's Copper Country Historical Collections.