Exchange

Conjoined Balloon.
Breath.
Accommodation.

The act of speaking begins with an intake of breath; carrying oxygen to the lungs and passing carbon dioxide back out over the tongue. The exhale brings with it our sounds and syllables, floating on the winds of a gas that we, quite literally, need removed from our bodies in order to continue to live. That we can so smoothly carry out this act without thinking or worrying about the mixture of nourishing and poisonous gases, giving each their time and space in the shared channel of our throats made me begin to wonder if we allow the same graces in encountering the volume of another’s words.

In my performance Exchange, two participants volley breath back and forth between a set of conjoined balloons. Air is passed through a tiny hole between them. As the air is exchanged, it slowly diminishes in oxygen and increases in carbon dioxide so that much like an unpleasant conversation the two parties are simultaneously moving in an effort to accommodate one another, while ultimately left to decide when one simply cannot continue.