Often People Ask How Birds Are Affected by the Air
Addressing the cultural and political aspects of urban air in Beijing, Often People Ask How Birds Are Affected by the Air draws on interviews and dialogue with locals, existing aerial imaginaries and new technoscientific representations of air. Due to its invisibility, air is mostly mediated through scientific instruments and measurements, and through language. In China, the introduction of the new concept of wumai (health threatening smog) and the successive datafication of air, during which air became “this number PM2.5 ,” produced a conception of a different, augmented air, that subsequently affected the ways in which air is experienced. The visual elements of the installation allude to the materiality of existing aerial imaginaries while also functioning as light sources and emblems of the translations and variations taking place between spoken versus written language, and between cultures.
Audio-visual Installation (HD video, 25 min, colour, stereo, 16/9)