the air we breathe

the air we breathe
in progress, on exhibition at Gallery 44 in Toronto on January 6, 2023, curated by Lillian O’Brien Davis

“the air we breathe” is an in-progress, expanded, experimental documentary thinks through the complexities of air pollution by weaving together themes of environmental catastrophe, environmental racism, cultural and political shifts, and conspiracy.

Combining research about Edmonton’s air quality, along with personal storytelling and speculative imaginings, this project hopes to deeply consider the complicated ways in which our air impacts us: from the way that smells travel through it and the memories they evoke; to the physical impacts of pollutants through shared inhalation; to the ways in which the air serves as a metaphor of connection in a cultural sense. Exploring the systemically racist decisions that result in unequally distributed impacts of air pollutants across geographies, this work will consider the act of breathing as one of both political and social potential.

A participatory element begins across Edmonton during the summer of 2022, as a way to think through these issues with a collective of others. Taking place through both the mail and online, this collective endeavour will think more deeply about the ways that smell and memory intertwine across issues of air pollution and social/cultural shifts.

the air we breathe is part of the ongoing project ‘forecast.’

With thanks to the Edmonton Arts Council for supporting this project!