Ali Miharbi – Istanbul, Turkey – Whispering 1, 2016-2022
Xoán-Xil – Santiago de Compostela, Spain – Organismo (Organscape), 2020
Cristhian Ávila Cipriani – Lima Peru – El Etorno Retorno (2021)


Opening Reception
Saturday, June 8
1:00 – 2:00pm | Artist Talk – Anvil Theatre, third floor
featuring Xoan X’il and Cristhian Avila Cipriani
2:00 – 4:00pm | Opening Reception – Anvil Centre, third floor


The gathering of our existence can be fulfilled through breathing. It is a vehicle both of proximity and of distancing, of fidelity and of destiny, of life and of cultivation […] Life is cultivated by life itself, in breathing.


What is breath? Across cultures, breath has been considered a manifestation of life, influencing symbolic, conceptual and abstract thought. Cultural arguments and questions around the primacy of breath vs being haunt the writings of philosophers such as Irigaray, Heidegger, Derrida and Descartes.

Anatomically, breath informs the voice: the original musical instrument. One theory suggests that human language began with mimesis; paramusical imitations of sounds in our natural environment; birds, animal calls. Controlling breath through the human instrument certainly resulted in profound changes to our bodies and brains; advancing the evolution of speech and culture. It has even been suggested that the ability to gain breath control was the key to unlocking language and defining our evolution as a species. About 70,000 years ago the technology of wind instruments allowed us to multiply, extend and enhance the effects of human breath..

PneumoMachinic (breath machines) is a sound-art exhibition which considers the influence and cultural impact of breath…from the earliest human speech, to installations evoking the ancient music of Peru and Spain. Three artists have created air-driven, sound installations through exceptional research and complex technologies. Their works explore, expand and compress breath; evoking, mechanizing and instrumentalizing it in meaningful flows, beats, currents and code.

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