Night Air: Breathing with Clouds
On Friday 27 May from 19:30, Breathing with Clouds marks the last Night Air event of the season at OT301. The programme of talks, performance, film and DJs sets, made in collaboration with Amsterdam-based artist Mint Park, invites us to tune into the turbulent processes of our atmosphere. VENUE OT301, Amsterdam House rules TICKETS €8 Full programme (starting 19:30) €6 Late entry (club night from 22:30) PROGRAMME Mint Park’s research, presented both during Night Air and at MACA on 26, 28 and 29 May, includes a fluid dynamic apparatus built to render air visible and audible. As concepts, the movements of air and clouds – noise, turbulence, drifting, dissipation – help to understand contingent dynamics. Clouds offer a methodology that challenges classification, circuits, limitless growth and technology. While materially at odds with meteorological clouds, the metaphor in the name ‘cloud computing’ signifies ubiquity, imperceptibility and retention. Pollution is a feature of both data farms, which consume energy massively, and the clouds that retain and displace toxic particles. With attention to this, Mint Park will also perform Darkening Days with Sébastien Robert, a live improvised score set to archival footage of pollution. Although a vast body of water is present in the air at all times, clouds are only perceptible by a careful combination of distance, moisture density, and light. Mist and fog, despite causing low visibility, are a way for earth-bound critters to experience clouds. As they hang low and cling to surfaces, we breathe them in and absorb them through porous bodies. Drawing attention to these intimate encounters, Hannah Mevis’ artwork inspired by morning dew, Filtered Clouds_do not store in container, invites us to taste clouds. Harvested locally, they will be sent travelling through our digestive systems and beyond. In Ho Tzu Nyen’s The Cloud of Unknowing, a multichannel cinematic installation that represented Singapore at the 2011 Venice Biennale, clouds are an exercise for the imagination and screens for projection. The film focuses on the cloud as the object that hovers in the background of landscapes – channelling divinity, illumination and mystic elevation, but also unrepresentability and emptiness. Moving away from historical classification systems that turned the atmosphere into a container, clouds are instead markers of perpetual change. Breathing with Clouds culminates at high altitude and low pressure, with DJ sets from Emiranda, Rapala700, Bugasmurf and DJ G2G. NIGHT AIR Night Air is a series of online transmissions and offline events that aims to make pollution visible by bringing forth the various side-effects of modernity: from colonial exploitation of people and resources to perpetual inequalities brought about by the destruction of the environment and common land – in other words, destructive capitalist practices that shape both our environment and human-nonhuman relations. The term ‘night air’ derives from a myth originating in the miasma theory (Greek for ‘pollution’) that smelly air from decaying organic matter caused illness. Such smells would intensify and worsen by night, rendering ‘night air’ synonymous with poisonous and noxious vapours.