Husberg and Marzecovas art/science collaboration interprets the theme air in a unique way and relates to the timely topics of sustainability and globalisation. It provokes discussions over the quality of our collective atmosphere. The project explores air as a naturalcultural and techno-ecological phenomenon situated in the nexus of media, science and technological mediation.
Using installation, performance, writing and critical analysis, Husberg and Marzecova seek to examine the overlapping boundaries between the aesthetic, science and politics of air and atmosphere.
Hanna Husbergs video installation ’Often People Ask How Birds Are Affected by the Air’ and their joint lecture-performance A is for Aurora, C is for Care; Towards Atmospheric Care were presented at the Art Ii Biennial. The artists worked in the KulttuuriKauppila residency till the end of June 2022.
Often People Ask How Birds Are Affected by the Air is a three-channel video installation that features materials collected during Husbergs residency at the Institute for Provocation. The work discusses the “datafication” of air, showing visual projections and multiplicity of different voices sharing observations on air. While the inhabitants of Beijing talk about their problematic relationship with the atmosphere in an over polluted and overpopulated city, we see images associated with pure air in the collective imaginary. Beside all this a monitor features a shifting color spectrum that reflects the Air Quality Index – the color classifications representing the presence of toxic but invisible particulates in the air.
A is for aurora, C is for care. Towards Atmospheric Care is a performative lecture on the auroras cultural historical and techno-ecological dimensions.
Departing from the elusive and ever-changing auroral display, the performance explores how the planetary atmosphere is made visible, how environmental imaginaries emerge (often through technoscientific apparatus) and how these contribute to novel ways of perceiving the environment. Rather than explaining the aurora, the narration is kept fragmentary and open-ended, offering the reader a multiplicity of different routes and connections, proposing layers of information, details and references rather than imposing priorities between valuable and disposable, scientific and anecdotal.
Like air, care escapes easy categorisation and requires situated knowing. Therefore, care is approached as a proposition to think with and as a transformative ethos, rather than a normative value. Critically, atmospheric care cannot rely on individual knowledge, expertise and action alone.
If we are to form meaningful engagements with air, we need to radically and collectively experiment with thought and practice that position the planetary atmosphere as a shared and indisciplinary concern.
Towards Atmospheric Care is a long-term research collaborative between Stockholm-based visual artist Hanna Husberg and Tallinn-based researcher in ecology, photography & new media Agata Marzecova, which explores air as a naturalcultural phenomenon situated in the nexus of media, science and technological mediation. Bringing theory, criticism and scientific research together with feminist methodologies, art and poetics, Towards Atmospheric Care examines the overlapping boundaries between the aesthetic, science and politics of air and atmosphere, highlighting that atmospheric sensibilities are not naturally granted but emerge through non-neutral scientific, managerial and cultural practices that interweave different bodies, technologies and sociotechnical imaginaries. The project hopes to cultivate atmospheric care as a broadly interdisciplinary, political and collective concern.