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TED Talk: Art Made of the Air We Breathe

Notes from Emily Parsons-Lord's TED Talk: Art Made of the Air We Breathe

  • "our air is immediate, vital, and intimate and yet is so easily forgotten."

  • "I'm a visual artist, interested in the invisibility of the air."

  • How we imagine air and experience it

  • We have an intimate interaction with air through breathing

  • Through her art practice she aims to make air visceral, tactile, haptic

  • The stories attached to different kinds of air

  • Re-creating the air from different points in the earths evolution and inviting the audience to come and breathe them

  • Particularly interested in moments of time that are examples of life changing the air

  • Eg carbonivorous air – the time of the giants, first time in history that ligment evolves so trees get really big, peppering the earth and releasing lots of oxygen twice as high as, supports large insect life. Is very clean and fresh to breathe, gives the body a subtle boost of energy

  • Eg the air of the great dying – biggest mass extinction 85-95% of species die out, huge spike in C02. Oxygen levels are 20% lower than today. Has a pleasant flavour.

  • Air of the future – human synthesized air – doesn't occur in nature, made by humans for industrial use. Will be part of the air for 300-400 years. Is very heavy, words "dribble down your chin and drop to floor and soak into the cracks." The most potent greenhouse gas ever to be tested

  • Perhaps it’s the time we think about climate change on the same visceral level we think of the air

  • "climate change is the collective self-portrait of humans."

  • "humans leaving a vibrant trace in the air"

Parsons, Emily. "Art Made of the Air We Breathe." TED Talk. January, 2017.

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