queensland university of technology brisbane australia a university for the real world

ROBOTRONICA

QUT - Robotronica

Catch Your Breathfamily icon

Every breath is a sacrament, an affirmation of our connection with all other living things, a renewal of our link with our ancestors and a contribution to generations yet to come.

David Suzuki, environmentalist

Suzuki's words suggest the significance of the air we breathe. Every atom of the air we inhale has been part of the life cycle of another organism, the natural processes of the earth's systems and the man-made processes of our economic systems. But how can we fully appreciate the significance of something we cannot see? Our breath is without a visible form and lost to us once exhaled.

Catch Your Breath makes breath visible through the action of blowing a bubble in a tank of water and freezing it with high-speed flash photography. The resulting image may help to promote an understanding of the unique beauty of our own breath and by measuring the shape of that breath we can readily compare it with those of others and perhaps appreciate the beauty of our collective breath. While intended to connect us, is this measurement any different to the profiling of our every online action by those who wish to monitor, influence and monetise us?

Andrew Styan

Andrew Styan is an emerging new media artist developing strategies for shifting public engagement with the challenge of climate change and its underlying social, political and economic causes. His practice utilises electronics, computer coding, interactivity and small to large-scale electromechanical devices to create installations, videos and kinetic objects that are intended to make visible these complex issues. These concepts and media reflect a former career in industrial research as a metallurgist in the steel industry and lifelong interests in nature, photography and science. He has exhibited widely locally and nationally and in 2015 was awarded the prestigious Dr Harold Schenberg fellowship for graduating artists.

His recent theoretical and practical research focusses on the socio-economic origins that are common to all the crises of ecology, equality and democracy; the psychology behind the individual and collective inability to tackle these crises; and the social agency of contemporary art practices and institutions.