Masters & Doctoral Programme 
 in Humanities and Cultural Studies 

Take a Deep Breath symposium 

Take a Deep Breath
A symposium at Tate Modern, in association with the London Consortium
Starr Auditorium 15 – 17 November 2007


Take a Deep Breath is a three-day interdisciplinary symposium that takes a fresh look at the cultural, social and scientific meanings of breathing. Recent environmental and ethical developments are calling for a rethinking of the value of breath and its manifestations in culture and beyond.The symposium explores contemporary ways of thinking about breathing and encourages dialogue between distinguished international participants from a wide range of disciplines by featuring talks, visual art projects, performances, film screenings, and musical events.

Nikos Navridis
Difficult Breaths #9Â 2004
Courtesy Bernier / Eliades Gallery ©Â The artist

Participants include Steven Connor, Lise Autogena, Cornelia Parker, Jane Boston, Max Streicher, Katerina Gregos, Michael Clark, Nikos Navridis, Mark Cousins, Richard Craig and Mikhail Karikis.

Breathing panels:

Visible/Invisible Respiration: There is general agreement that it can be heard and smelt, yet why is it taken for granted that respiration is an invisible manifestation of our being alive? Artists have often explored this paradox. What lies in this tension between the visible and the invisible breath?

Contaminating Breath: The exhaled breath brings out in the world an amalgam of volatile components ranging from vital oxygen to poisonous carbon dioxide. Breathing is vital, yet it can also be fatal. To breathe upon is potentially to infect or contaminate.

Hold It Exercise It Manipulate It: Breathing can be subjected to active and passive forms of control. What are the ways with which we control and manipulate our breath? Does the loss of breath result in the loss of control, or perhaps is it the other way round?

Beyond Breath: Can we think of breathing beyond its principal corporeal function? Breath as pneuma and psyche has always been of great significance to psychology, psychiatry, philosophy and religion. What are the effects of euphoria and phobias, panic attacks or asphyxia? Is there life after breath?

Take a Deep Breath is organised by Irini Marinaki, Martine Rouleau and Konstantinos Stefanis in collaboration with The London Consortium and Tate Modern.

Tate Modern Starr Auditorium
£40 (£30 concessions), booking recommended
Includes refreshments and entry to all events.

For tickets book online or call 020 7887 8888.



Day One Thursday 15 November

14:00-17:00 Opening Session

14:00 Welcome

14:15 Steven Connor, Professor of Modern Literature and Theory – College Orator at Birkbeck College London & Academic Director of The London Consortium

Whisper Music

15:00 Lise Autogena, artist

Breathing Productions & Most Blue Skies

15:40 Cornelia Parker, artist

Inhaled Cliffs: Exhaled Schoolhouse

16:20 Discussion chaired by Marko Daniel, Curator of Public Programmes Tate Modern

17:00 Drinks reception in Starr Auditorium Foyer, Level 2

18:00 End

Day Two Friday 16 November

10:20-13:15 Panel Session: Hold it, Exercise it, Manipulate it

10:20 Introduction

10:30 Kanarinka, media artist & educator at RISD Digital + Media Graduate Program and School of the Museum of Fine Arts Boston

It Takes 154 000 Breaths to Evacuate Boston

11:00 Jean Owen, PhD candidate, The London Consortium

Breathing through Daddy: Anne Sexton’s ‘The Moss of His Skin’

11:30 Gabriella Bisetto, Head of the Ceramic and Glass programme & Lecturer at the University of South Australia

Little Breaths

12:00 Georgios Halkias, Primary researcher for the Tibet-Islam project at The Warburg Institute, University of London

Inhalation, Exhalation and Realization: The Buddhist Path to Conscious Breathing

12:30 Discussion chaired by Bernard Vere, Lecturer in Fine Arts on the MA in Fine and Decorative Arts at Sotheby’s Institute of Art, London

13:15 Break

14:15-18:15 Panel Session: Visible/Invisible Respiration

Short video screening: Drawing Breath (2007) by Lisa Flynn

14:15 Opening remarks

14:20 David Marchant, Senior Lecturer of aesthetic theory, technique, composition and improvisation in the concert art of contemporary dance of Washington University in St. Louis

December (contemporary art dance performance)

14:50 Jane Boston, Senior Voice Consultant at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art

It’s a Gas

15:30 Tea and coffee served in the Starr Auditorium foyer

Sleeping Giants (Silenus) installation by Max Streicher

16:00 Opening remarks

16:10 Max Streicher, Artist

Sleeping Giants

Short video screening: Hello Stranger (2006) by Lisa Flynn

16:40 Katerina Gregos, Curator, writer & artistic director of Argos – Centre for Art and Media in Brussels

It’s in the Air: Breath and Breathing in the Work of Nikos Navridis

17:15 Michael Clark, artist

Drawing breath [visual/sound project, 7 min]

17:30 Discussion chaired by Tom McCarthy, Writer & faculty member of The London Consortium

18:30 Drinks reception in the East Room, Level 7

First Love, a song and the yogi (2007) installation by Nikos Navridis

20:30 End

Day Three Saturday 17 November

10:20-13:15 Panel Session: Contaminating Breath

10:20 Opening remarks

10:30 Mary Ellen Leuver, PhD candidate, Yale University

Breathing Room: Breath, Death, Disease, and the Consumptive Utopias of America’s West in the Late Nineteenth Century

11:00 Bendik-Keymer, Isak Berbic & Zlatan Filipovia, Faculty members of the American University of Sharjah

Taking in the Greenery (A film from Dubai)

11:20 Anna Roos, Research Associate at the Wellcome Unit for the History of Medicine, University of Oxford

Johann Heinrich Cohausen (1665-1750), Salt Iatrochemistry, and Theories of Longevity in his Satire, Hermippus Redivivus (1742)

11:50 Havi Hannah Carel, Senior Lecturer in Philosophy at the University of the West of England

Take my Breath Away: a Phenomenology of Breathlessness

12:20 Vanda Playford, artist & General Practitioner

Coca-Cola and Cigarettes, Healing the Soul of Sarah Katherine – Short Film Screening (HD Video, 6 mins, 2007)

12:30 Discussion chaired by Barry Curtis, Emeritus Professor at Middlesex University, Fellow of the London Consortium & Visiting Tutor at the Royal College of Art

13:15 Break

14:15-18:00 Final Panel Session: Beyond Breath

Short video screening: Emily Dashing(2005, 45 sec.) by Holly Crawford

14:15 Opening remarks

14:30 Jones Irwin, Lecturer in Philosophy and Education at St Patrick’s College, Dublin City University

Breathing Philosophy or Just Breathing? An Artaud/Derrida Encounter

15:00 Patrick Baur, Lecturer at the Ethical-Philosophical Program (EPG) at Albert-Ludwigs-University, Freiburg/Germany

Breathless Beings: Antiquity, Modernity, and the Ethics of Breathing

15:30 Tea and coffee served in the Starr Auditorium foyer

16:00 Opening Remarks

16:10 Mark Cousins, Director of General Studies and Head of the Graduate Programme in Histories and Theories at the Architectural Association & faculty member of The London Consortium

Breath, Writing and Commandment

17: 00 Discussion and final remarks with Steven Connor

18:00 Break

18:30 – 19:30 Musical event/performance in the Starr Auditorium:

18:30 Richard Craig, Flutist

The Unity of the breath (Performance supported by the British Music Information Centre)

Unity Capsule 1975-76 for solo flute [composer: Brian Ferneyhough]

ne lâ aura che trema 2007 for alto flute and live electronics (the air that trembles) [composer: John Croft] Work commissioned by funds from the Scottish Arts Council.

Atem Lied for solo bass flute [composer: Toshio Hosokawa]

19:00 Mikhail Karikis, artist

Orphica + New voice improvisations

Orphica (2007) is the latest music project by Mikhail Karikis. In his performance at Starr Auditorium, Karikis presents compositions from Orphica alongside new voice improvisations, which explore disarticulation and vocal transgression, pushing language to its limits, where voice transforms into raw sound-material and a medium for extremes of expression.

19:30 Drinks reception in the Starr auditorium foyer

20:30 End

For tickets book online or call 020 7887 8888.

The participation of Max Streicher is generously supported by the High Commission of Canada.

Drinks receptions are kindly supported by Boutari Wines and Cypressa.