AirTravel

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Concept Outline.

This distributed interactive project operates across the boundaries of the personal and public bodies it engages. Most literally this is evident in the beaching of the gallery walls by the radio frequency signals that transmit data from outside the art institution to inside but is echoed in the opening of the private space of the suitcase to public scrutiny.  In an act of involuntary intimacy viewers breath intermingles with the breath of others as they collaborative breath life in the corpus of the art work.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Realisation

The project occupies space both inside the outside the gallery. Over the course of the exhibition an oxygen tank gradually inflates a domestic suitcase that is lined with clear plastic. This is achieved by the activation of an air valve by exhalent devices located outside on the university concourse.

Participants blow into a funnel like device that measures the exhalent volume of their breath and transmits the data to a process in the gallery that bleeds air into the loosely closed suitcase.

Initially only the hiss of air can be heard but gradually the pressure of the air lifts the lid exposing the contents of the suitcase. Eventually the lid falls open wide as the plastic bag continues to enlarge.

Technical

The work is controlled by a series of Arduino microprocessors that communicate by RF. These units operate on 9v and require no external power supply.  While capable of transmitting up to 100m (30ft) this effective distance will be reduced by architectural feature. Exact locations will need to be determined though testing. It is envisaged that the processors and the exhalant devices would be strapped to the concrete columns of the concourse with temporary fixtures. This would require no penetrative attachment to the fabric of the building.  If it is deemed necessary for security reasons the exhalent devices can be designed to to allow for easy removal each evening.

The suitcase will sit on the floor with a hose connecting it to a rented oxygen bottle. Again an Arduino will receive the RF signals to control the inflation of the suitcase.


 

James Charlton – Creative Practice