Hanna Husberg

Troubled Atmosphere – On Noticing Air

Through the lense of four different art projects, Troubled Atmosphere – On Noticing Air looks at hybrid, layered, inconsistent, muddled, unruly, contaminated gatherings of air, inquiring how air has been conceptualised and perceived, and how the construction of aerial imaginaries enables specific ways of engaging with the world and excludes others. Paying attention to the materiality, relationality and performativity of air, noticing air is explored as a methodology to consider how air, approached as a naturalcultural and technoecological phenomenon, is made perceptible and knowable under historically specific circumstances, perceptual systems, and politics of representation. For this, air is addressed through the artworks Being With (2015), The World Indoors (2015), In the Vast Ocean of Air (2016), and Often People Ask How Birds Are Affected by the Air (2017), and through corresponding texts structured around specific material-semiotic figures – the body, plants, clouds, PM2.5 (minute airborne particulate matter) – which substantiate air, and its technoscientific assemblages, and propose diversified ways of noticing air. Subject to chemical, biological, geological, technological and cultural processes and transformations, air is modified, structured, and compartmentalised, rendered inherently political with effects, consequences, and health impacts distributed unevenly and unjustly. Considering how noticing air can be expanded to reconsider relations and relatings with air that may contribute to the long-term collective feminist undertaking of reimagining liveable and breathable worlds for the many, the dissertation reflects upon the transformative role of environmental concepts and imaginaries. More specifically, it poses the author’s interdisciplinary collaboration with researcher in ecology Agata Marzecova as an example of how to bring theory, criticism, and scientific research together with art and poetics, and how meaningful experimentation with formats, languages, and different ways of knowing may allow for thicker, more layered and nuanced approaches for noticing air.

Hanna Husberg, 2017, often people ask how birds are affected by the air

Born in Finland, Hanna Husberg lives and works between Paris / London / Vienna. She graduated from ENSB-A, Paris in 2007. She is also studying at the Centre for Research Architecture at Goldsmiths College. Her work, which evolves between a regular practice of video, occasional interventions in situ, and several installation projects challenging different aspects of our physical and visual perception, has been shown in Paris and abroad and she frequently participates in residencies and workshops.