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Take, give a breath at festival

Taking a breath is the first thing humans do at birth and the last thing they do before they die. On average, a person takes about 16 breaths per minute, 960 breaths per hour and 23 040 breaths a day.

It is so natural that we do not think much about this action that keeps us alive.

Peter Burke, an Australian artist, will bring Air Cabinet to the Vrystaat Arts Festival. This very unique Public Art Project (PAP) is a “community service” intended to generate discussion around the value of air.

Air Cabinet features a public stall where individual samples of the human breath will be collected in test tubes. The samples will form an archive dedicated to the breath and people may take a free breath sample home to give to someone special or to keep,” Peter explains.

The project forms part of Peter’s ongoing exploration of how art can engage with people in public spaces and create lively and off-the-cuff discussions about the value we attribute to things.

He developed Air Cabinet especially for the Vrystaat Arts Festival and says he is keen to discover the different types of breath that can be found in Bloemfontein – deep breaths, shallow breaths, anxious breaths, morning breaths and fresh breaths.

“I expect Air Cabinet will bring an unexpected smile to those who encounter it and people may be surprised to learn how reveiling their breath can be.”

Anyone can take part in Air Cabinet, but as the number of collected breaths are limited, Peter urge people to get in early so they do not miss out.

Peter, as an artist, works across the media of painting, drawing, digital media, perfomance, video and the mass media.

He achieved a Bachelor of Arts degree in Fine Art (painting) as well as a doctorate in Philosophy that contributes to new ways to understand and negotiate social space.

Air Cabinet will be at Hoffman Square from 18 to 20 July, from 09:30 to 16:00, as well as at the Kovsie campus near the vrynge (near the badominton hall) on 21 and 22 July.

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