Dynamics of Air captures the beauty, dynamics and sensuality of air in our built environment and its critical role in designing for a zero carbon future.
Presented in partnership with the Goethe-Institut, Dynamics of Air explores how 25 leading Australian and international designers, artists and researchers work with the shared and intangible atmospheric medium that is air – the element essential for life.
Curated by RMIT Industrial Design Senior Lecturer Dr Malte Wagenfeld and Swinburne University Dean of Design Professor Jane Burry, Dynamics of Air features specially commissioned works that will immerse audiences in the reality of climate change and the implications of sharing air in crowded urban environments.
Austrian design firm Breathe Earth Collective will construct a four metre version of a traditional Gradierwerk (salt breathing tower). Saline water will fall from the top of the tower over a heavily-scented melaleuca shrub sourced from the Barkindji Nation in the Mallee region, filling the gallery with invigorating air, packed with saline and ethereal oils.
German climate engineer Thomas Auer from Transsolar will team with Wagenfeld to create Outside In, a large immersive work allowing audiences to explore dynamically shifting interior microclimates, offering new strategies for ‘designing with air’ in the context of climate change.
Berlin artist Edith Kollath will explore the poetics and reality of sharing the air that we breathe, inviting participants to breathe into specially constructed glass vessels and share each other’s air.
In other highlights, renowned New York-based installation artist and RMIT Alumnus Natasha Johns-Messenger will team with Melbourne artist Leslie Eastman to construct a viewing room containing a sculptural installation featuring a rapidly oscillating metal disk. This work plays with the same optical deceptions as looking into a moving aeroplane propeller.
Goethe-Institut Australia Director Sonja Griegoschewski said it was exciting to partner with the RMIT Gallery to present an exhibition “exploring complex scientific research on air and the challenges faced designing for urban environments”.
“German engineers, architects and artists are well-known for their creative approaches to design problems, and we are delighted to bring four of them to Melbourne for the exhibition public program events,” she said.
What: Dynamics of Air (RMIT Gallery art exhibition)
When: 14 September – 17 November 17
Where: RMIT Gallery, Building 16 Storey Hall (344 Swanston Street, Melbourne)
For interviews and media inquiries and images: Evelyn Tsitas, RMIT Gallery Senior Advisor, Communications & Outreach (03) 9925 1716 or 0488 300 525.
Note: International artists Thomas Auer, Edith Kollath, Friedrich von Borries and the Breathe Earth Collective will be in Melbourne for the exhibition opening and available for interviews, as will local artists.