Air Hunger

Air Hunger, a project by Hanna Haaslahti, takes shape in the cityscape as an interactive projection, where the breathing pattern of a person generates a real-time landscape. People participate in the projection by wearing a wireless breath transmitting belt around their chest custom-made by the artist. The belt is given to one person at a time and he can walk freely in front of the projection area, while producing his landscape.

The principle of visualisation of the breathing pattern is simple, inhaling creates rising contours and exhaling descending contours on the landscape. On idle we see a flatland, which starts to immediately flow when the belt is being used. The breath generated landscape carries a lonely character, who moves along the slopes and hills created by the inhale/exhale pattern. Instead of being identified with the character, the  participant is creating the conditions for his journey.

The surface of contemporary cityspace is hard, reflecting and in continuous alternation, made of steel, glass, stone and concrete suppressing vulnerable human communication. Air Hunger transforms a private and invisible bodily function into monumental transmission. The intimate and fragile overcomes the concrete for a moment.


Air Hunger projection at Mannerheim statue
Kimmo Mustonen

Air Hunger premiered in Helsinki during Media Facades Festival 2010, where it was presented 27.-28.8. 21.30-00.00 by the Mannerheim statue in front of Kiasma. It was also presented in Brussels and Linz Ars Electronica within the touring programme of Media Facades Festival Europe.

In each city, the project was recreated as site-specific by changing the moving character to reflect the history of the place. In Linz, the soldier from Helsinki's Marshall Mannerheim statue was replaced by a tobacco factory working woman. In Brussels, the controversial "Bateau" building at Flagey square became the main character.

The piece was produced for the Media Facades 2010 festival by Fantomatico and realized in collaboration with software designer Jani Turunen and fashion designer Tuula Pöyhönen.