Modern Art Oxford announces first digital participatory project

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Modern Art Oxford announces first digital participatory project
Lucy Sabin, In Memory of Air (installation image), 2019. Image courtesy of the artist.

OXFORD.- Modern Art Oxford presents Breathworks, a new digital art project responding to personal and collective relationships with breathing. Conceived before COVID-19 and the Black Lives Matter protests filled our digital airwaves, Breathworks initiates responsive public storytelling to explore the overlooked importance of our breath in relation to physical, mental and digital wellbeing.

Launching a new body of audience-centred digital programming for the gallery, this inaugural online commission is led by artist, atmospheric researcher and digital designer, Lucy Sabin. Of the project, Lucy says: “I believe that breathing is a fundamentally creative act – a dance even; with every breath, we sustain and recreate our worlds while expressing profound yet ineffable emotions.”

Inviting wide-ranging creative contributions from the public, as well as artists and researchers, Breathworks presents a collective body of “breath works” on Modern Art Oxford’s website and Instagram. The project is accompanied by public presentations and events in collaboration with The Oxford Research Centre in the Humanities (TORCH), The University of Oxford in Autumn 2020.

Breathworks collaborators include; Alice Sharp, founder and artistic director of the contemporary art and environment organisation, Invisible Dust; Orit Gat, writer, curator, previously editor at Rhizome; Maral Pourkazemi, Design Activist and founder of all-womxnled creative community MADDthing; Derek McCormack, atmospheric researcher and Professor of Cultural Geography at the University of Oxford; Emma Garnett, Principal Investigator of the youth project Sensing Bodies: Urban Exposure and Asthma in Delhi, India; Breathe Oxford, Nuffield Department of Clinical Neurosciences, The University of Oxford; not/nowhere, artist workers’ cooperative; Life of Breath, Wellcome Trust funded research project with The University of Durham and The University of Bristol.

Breathworks is curated by Andrée Latham, Curator, Digital Content at Modern Art Oxford.

Researcher and creative practitioner Lucy Sabin (b.1993, Chichester, UK) is interested in the relationship between humans and ‘the atmosphere.’ Through her timely mixed-media practice, Sabin explores air as an ecological and social necessity for surviving and perceiving. Sabin’s previous projects have explored non-human microcosms of atmosphere-sensitive lichens. She undertook an art–science residency with the British Lichen Society and archival research within the Lichen Collection at the Natural History Museum, which was exhibited at The Hockney Gallery, London, and The Plough Arts Centre, Great Torrington. Her practice has explored ‘breathing benches,' ‘atmospheric cartography’ workshops and her aural ‘breathworks’ have been featured on BBC Radio 4.

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