15 Sep 2023 - 18 Nov 2023

the air we breathe

Christina Battle, the air we breathe
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the air we breathe is offered as part of Christina Battle's exhibition, how to feel the weight of the moment, a series of repetitions and speculations. This program takes place early October through November 3 (approx 30 minutes per week).

“the air we breathe” (2022, ongoing) is an expanded, experimental documentary that thinks through the complexities of air pollution by weaving together themes of environmental catastrophe, environmental racism, cultural and political shifts, and conspiracy.

Combining research about air quality, along with personal storytelling and speculative imaginings, this project deeply considers the complicated ways in which our air impacts us: from the way that smells travel through it and the memories they evoke; the physical impacts of pollutants through shared inhalation; to the ways in which the air serves as a metaphor of connection in a cultural sense. Exploring the systemically racist decisions that result in unequally distributed impacts of air pollutants across geographies, this work considers the act of breathing as one of both political and social potential.

In addition to the gallery work, “the air we breathe” also includes a participatory element. With a focus now in and around Calgary, this version of the participatory project will take place across October 2023. Through both the mail and online, this collective endeavour will spend time thinking about the ways that smell and memory intertwine across issues of air pollution and social/cultural shifts.


As a participant, you are invited to engage with information online as you spend time thinking through this complex issue. You are asked to respond to materials (creatively) each week to share with others, as such, participation requires a sense of responsibility to the overall group.

Materials will be provided in the form of a toolkit which can be picked up at IKG. While the project takes place entirely online, you will be asked to drop responses off at the gallery to share with others (at least once a week). More information will be shared at the start of the project. Participation is limited to 14.

the air we breathe toolkit contains:
* 1 BEAM paint watercolour card and paintbrush;
* 4 watercolour postcards;
* 3 candles: Freesia (Blue); Lilac (Red); and Bergamot (Green) with ceramic dish to hold onto the wax once burned (with hopes the smells linger from one burn to the next)
*web pages and surveys provided at start of project

We encourage those interested in the air we breathe to also participate in Greeting the Anthropocene as they will be dealing with similar issues and concerns, however you do not need to participate in both.