I'm excited to announce that I'll be sharing a Mellon Fellowship in Arts and Inquiry with the extraordinary multifaceted artists Caroline Bergvall and Judd Morrissey in 2016. We will be in residence at the Gray Center for Arts and Inquiry to begin a project called The Data That We Breathe: Caroline Bergvall (London-based artist, writer and performer), Judd Morrissey (writer, code artist and professor, School of the Art Institute of Chicago), and Jennifer Scappettone (cross-disciplinary writer, artist and professor, English and Committee on Creative Writing, University of Chicago) launch a series of experiments into the physical and poetic dimensions of breath: its channeling in the evolution and performance of human languages, and its molecular migrations through instruments, terrains, and times. Histories of the circulation of air in relation to aesthetic, philosophical, social, and industrial dimensions are at the root of these investigations. The collaborators will try to re-situate and revitalize the poetic notion of inspiration within an expanded sensorium where breath is acknowledged not only as its literal foundation, but as an agent subject to the contemporary realities of contaminated air and bioengineered synthetic life. Their research will form the basis of a collaborative project of collecting and performing the circulation of this fugitive matter that binds interior and exterior, individual and collective, human and non-human currents.

Read more about the project here. Read about our course, Breathing Matters: Poetics and Politics of Air, here.

Athanasius Kircher, Aeolian harp, from Phonurgia nova, p. 144 (1673). Courtesy of Stanford University.