3. 3.–2. 4. 2023
In Cukrarna and elsewhere


From 10 April 2023, the Vivarij Laboratory (Zavod Kersnikova, Likozarjeva 1, Ljubljana) will be an open studio that will give an insight into the new installation by Dorotea Dolinšek.

The artist’s project Ex.A.R.U. (Exo Auxiliary Respiratory Unit) is based on a reflection on the infrastructure and technical solutions that allow living in the extreme conditions of space through the production and containment of an air balloon inside spaceships. In such technologically complex challenges, we trace the terrestrial experiences and materials manifested in the mimetic, automated systems of the Earth environment. Within this, the project works through a consideration of the air substrate in relation to the atmosphere as a shared space for all living organisms. Breathing, where the human body is the interface, is an act of exchange that maintains this shared space and as such transcends the individual human lung. Aware of interspecies relations, the project is about an air dome, a speculative breathing space station where plants are the main producers of the air substrate and their photosynthetic performance measures the time of living in a simulated airless space. A human is attached to the air dome by his respiratory system via a mask, which triggers the exchange process. The use of a respiratory mask before the actual coupling results in a crucial suspension, a moment of inability to inhale/exhale, which can be identified as a race against time, as manifested in the Anthropocene epoch on a planetary scale.

Like the space infrastructure, the Earth is in a constant process of terraforming. Today’s view of the Earth is no longer transcendental and disembodied, but panoptic, originating in hermetically sealed modules that host living beings based on their ability to survive under extreme conditions. Mastering the breathing processes in space, which empower the human desire for sustainable, interplanetary living, fosters an intimate awareness of the changing, increasingly toxic air on Earth that determines the ways in which the world breathes. The toxic effect of the industrial residues of past centuries, added to the accelerated by-product of modern industries, suggests that fossil fuels are one of the main triggers of air pollution in studies of global warming. Such atmospheric changes over time allow us to index the Anthropocene. The moment of suspension of time in breathing apparatuses thus suggests the equation of extreme space conditions with an Earth in deep ecological crisis, and addresses the ecology of sensation and perception, of life and death.

Expert collaborator: Barbara Sušnik

Fabrication: Rompom d.o.o.

Production: Kersnikova Institute – Kapelica Gallery as part of the konS – Plaftorm for Contemporary Investigative Art