. How to breathe in public?




in collaboration with Eliana Otta, Petra Mrsa, Sonja Hornung, Ruthia Jenrbekova (ELOLSOPERU)


Eliana was born in Lima, Olia in Minsk, Petra in Rijeka, Ruthia in Almaty, and Sonja in Naarm / Melbourne: three and a half different continents. We got to know one other in Vienna in the trembling summer of 2020: a year in which coming together and creating new collective ties was particularly unlikely, and in that sense all the more significant.
Thinking about the question how to breathe in public space ?, we adapted the game “exquisite corpse” to the digital spaces in which we work and communicate. We felt the urge to divorce public space from its modern attachment to the nation-state, legal property structures, and therefore the exclusion of othered geographies and bodies.
The layered, complicated image files we built together over a period of eight months engage with ornamental obfuscation and illustrative illusion, a wild, hopeful tessellation of more extra-human than human elements. Right now, the images lurk in our laptops and on our file-sharing platforms, waiting for the right moment to proliferate in the world.
As you see, the images didn’t quite make it to the fluc billboards. Here, you instead find a short story of im / possibility: a deep inhalation containing the promise of a collective, coming exhalation. (1)

(1) The font we chose for the text on the billboards, “OCR-B”, was created in 1968 and intended to be easily legible for both machines and humans.






Photographs: Alexandra Berlinger