Air (6.75m2)

Performance, 14h 30h
16 large format photographs (lost)
35mm / digital documentation images


Collaboration with Edward Dowsett

Documentation by Francis Lam

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(The work was originally an entry for a photographic competition with a theme centred around “air”, and above are the documentation images of the piece.)

We wanted to bring some fresh air to the densest and most polluted part of the city. We decided that we would climb up a 500m hill, collect as much fresh air we could physically carry, and bring it all the way from the peak to the downtown on foot. I would breathe from it in different parts of the town - and photographs would be taken with a large format camera at each checkpoint.

We made a balloon, measuring at 3M x 1.5M x 1.5M, out of thin plastic table cloth. We also constructed a bamboo frame to facilitate transportation, and to protect it. On an overcast day in late August, we set off early in the morning. On the way up (and down) the hill - we had one of the worst thunderstorms of the year. We arrived our destination 12 hours later, and released 6.5 cubic meter of fresh air in downtown. On the way we shot 16 sheets of 4x5 film. Two days later, all of our dark slides along with the undeveloped film was left in a suitcase inside a taxi trunk. We tried every possible way to locate and recover the film, yet to no avail.

These undeveloped images had disappeared into the thin air. Yet we always talk of them as if we have already seen them.

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