Humans are part of an interlinked world crossed by overlapping flows: substances, beings, information. The major global events that have spilled out along 2020 have profoundly altered the social system, revealing deep structural weak spots, and pushing to the limit its resilience. This context has called into question our anthropocentric mindset and has led us to critically revise how we think about the (eco)systems we are part of, how we act within them, what is our agency to drive meaningful shifts, and which are our tools to do so.
For nine months in which life and art became part of a single space, we, three artists and designers in collaboration with a diverse team of scientists and researchers, explored the way in which our individual and collective agency is affected by how close, emotionally, and physically, we feel from others, whether human or not. By navigating through art and design approaches, we imagined perspectives to defy our dualist, linear and cartesian point of view to question how, as our system regains its speed, we can transit towards a more connected sense of being.
A systemic thinking toolkit, dozens of conversations, a breathing body, a diagram and a poem have unfolded during all this time, giving shape to the project A.I.R. Air[noun, uncountable], the mixture of gases we breathe; air[noun, uncountable], the space that circulates everything; but also A.I.R., acronym of ‘artists in residency’ —or more accurately, artists in remoteness. Air that we have lacked too often during these nine months. Air that can be the deepest kind of embrace, in these times pierced by radical forms of isolation.
We start weaving our ideas around the notions of systems, agency and closeness by asking: how close do you feel?
SPECIAL THANKS TO
Mitzi D’Alton, Aisling Murray, Paul O’Neill, Anne Kearns, Rory McCormick, Cían Walsh, Autumn Brown, Eamon Fox, Corrin Foley, Niamh O’Doherty