Breather I

latex, aluminum, electronics, paint
2' x 2' x 2'

Breather I is a kinetic sculpture exploring the idea of inner motion as an indicator of aliveness.

Distinguishing between the living and the non-living is a core, evolutionary function of the human brain that helps us survive. While the distinction is easily drawn in day to day life, a definition of the rules governing this casual act of discretion eludes thinkers throughout history. We may be closer than ever to finding a unified definition of aliveness, yet the line between the living and the non-living is increasingly difficult to draw. Through planetary change and technological development, long held characteristics of plant and animal life are no longer strictly synonymous with the living, leaving a diffused boundary where we once believed harder lines.

In multidisciplinary discussions of aliveness, the idea of inner motion is a key thread, describing concepts ranging from the soul, vital fluids in the body, capacity to react to the external world, or emergent consciousness. Like Art historian, Maria Hansen, many believe, "life’s appearance rests on an embodied exposure of inner motion."

Facing this uncertainty, how should we judge the validity of our intuitive understanding of aliveness and our similarly intuitive categorization of the natural world? What merit should these distinctions hold when they are, now, easily wrong?