O2 | 2021
    LED Screen, Automated seesaw with oxygen cylinder
    Sea Art Festival, Busan Biennale 2021

    The balance of breath, alternating between inhalation and exhalation, is like a see-saw – poised on the fulcrum of each passing moment. When breathing comes easy, the alternate ends of the infrastructure of life, geared to inhalation, and exhalation, rise and fall with the fluid exhilaration of the playground. Nothing can seem more carefree than the rush and release of air.
    If, on the other hand, a change in the quality of the air – the sudden devastation of a cytokine storm in the lungs, or a variation in barometric pressure accompanying a sharp dive or swift climb – disturbs the respiratory balance achieved over millions of years of evolutionary time, then within thirty seconds of a drop in oxygen levels, a body can begin losing consciousness. It can feel like what it might mean to drown on dry land, with the elements swirling all about you.
    Over the past two years, much of the world has suddenly come to terms with what it means, like divers, to not take breathing for granted. It is as if we are all learning to dive, and to calibrate our breathing, on the terrestrial shoreline of a new submarine horizon.
    Oxygen cylinders, once standard issue for climbers and divers, have transitioned from hospitals to domestic spaces. The rise and fall of oxygen levels in the blood is a new see-saw. In this playground, what’s at play is the precarious balance of breathable air that sustains life itself.