The Data That We Breathe

 Nov 11, 2016, 12:00 AM – 2:00 AM
 Gray Center Lab at Midway Studios, 929 E. 60th St.

As the culmination of their Mellon Fellowship for Arts Practice & Scholarship, 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) present the results of their research into the properties of air, breath, and their infiltration by data as manifest in works developed during their tenure at the Gray Center. The evening will also include special appearances by members of the Winter 2016 Breathing Matters seminar on Poetics and Politics of Air, and culminate in a discussion and reception.


Featured projects:

Ragadawn is a sunrise vocal performance created by Caroline Bergvall to be performed outdoors from the last hours of night until the very early morning.  A live composition for two voices (spoken and sung), multiple languages, and electronic drones accompany and celebrate the rising of day in site-sepcific locations. It draws on ancient and contemporary musical and literary sunrise traditions, such as troubadour love poetry and vedic mantras, while also addressing through recorded interviews the linguistic territories of the UK and EU, specifically languages that are endangered or at risk, and those that are emerging from more recent settlements. 


Smokepenny Lyrichord Heavenbred*
Hoisting virtual landscapes and augmented reality textscapes datamined from boom, strike, and bust of the Upper Midwest’s Copper Country, Data That We Breathe collaborators Jennifer Scappettone and Judd Morrissey, sound artist Mark Booth and code artist Abraham Avnisan excavate the material substrate of twentieth-century communications technologies, spotlighting the transnational breaches of copper—its extraction, processing, and harnessing as conductor for sprawling networks of exploitation and control as well as illumination. Smokepenny Lyrichord Heavenbred will render the air as encrypted message carved out, ultimately, by way of pneumatic drill, making apprehensible not only the code but the blast and particulate aftermath of a cabled earth’s wireless imagination. 


*Title mined from Charles Algernon Moreing and Thomas Neal, The New General & Mining Telegraph Code (New York: American Code Co., 1905), with the meaning [During last year / By constant penetration / Encroaching on the reserve].