Airy Encounters: Respiratory Philosophy and Sound Arts

A unique and inspiring symposium focuses on breath, atmosphere of air and sound arts.

In the symposium, we will investigate philosophically, artistically, practically and experientially how the questions of breath, sound, voice, listening and the atmosphere of air as an environment can inspire us to think, create and experience the world in new ways. This will be a gathering of philosophers, scholars and artists with academic presentations, concerts, artistic interventions and workshops. We invite all the participants to join us on this aerial and respiratory journey.

The symposium is co-organized by Institute for Philosophical Studies, Science and Research Centre Koper, Slovenia and the Sibelius Academy, Uniarts Helsinki, Finland.


This symposium is open for everyone interested, and admission is free of charge. Registration is required for all participants. The places will be filled in the order of registration. Registration will open on May 16th, 2022.

Please register by Monday, May 30.

Symposium Programme

Monday, June 6, 2022

Chamber Music Hall, Sibelius Academy, Pohjoinen Rautatiekatu 9, 00100 Helsinki

16.00 Welcoming Inspirations

  • Michael Schmid (flute solo) plays István Matuz’s piece The Gliss
  • Petri Berndtson: Welcoming the Airy Encounters – Opening airings
  • Kajsa Dahlbäck: The singer’s inner work: in practice and theory. Lecture concert in collaboration with Aapo Häkkinen

17.45 Welcoming refreshments


  • Chris Harker: Pneuma, an audio-visual meditation on the breath
  • Michael Schmid: A Lung Full of Ears, Collective con-spiratory

Tuesday, June 7, 2022

Pajasali Hall, Suomenlinna, Suomenlinna C 28 C #103, 00190 Helsinki

9.00–10.30 Michael Schmid: BREATHCORE – Breathing workshop

10.30–10.50 Coffee break

10.50–12.10 Panel I: Transversality of the poetic arts of breath
Chair: Maja Bjelica
Presenters joining remotely through video-conference

  • Salomé Voegelin and Mark Peter Wright: Sound’s Transversal Breath
  • Stefanie Heine: Pneumatic Touch and Sonic Encounters in Walt Whitman

12.10–14.10 Lunch break

14.10–15.10 Visit to the HIAP Suomenlinna. Interactive artistic presentation by Eeva-Liisa Puhakka: “Leave the Body, Leave the Mind”.

15.10–15.30 Break

15.30–16.50 Panel II: Prāṇic inquiries
Chair: Lenart Škof

  • Purushottama Bilimoria: The answer, my friend, is blowin’ in the wind… Blowin’ in the prāṇa
  • Kalpana Subramanian: Cinema of Breath (Presenter joining remotely through video-conference.)

16.50–17.10 Coffee break

17.10–19.10 Panel III: Matrixial breath and respiratory sounds of difference and togetherness
Chair: Petri Berndtson

  • Lenart Škof: “The Blessed Cosmos compared to the Air we Breathe”
  • Christoph Solstreif-Pirker: Matrixial Breath: A First Introduction to Rhythms, Procedures, and Consequences of Respiratory “Jointness-in-Difference”
  • Tanvi Solanki: “Black Pneuma” and “World Breath”: Respiratory Difference and Belonging

Wednesday, June 8, 2022

Pajasali Hall, Suomenlinna, Suomenlinna C 28 C #103, 00190 Helsinki

9.00–10.00 Petri Berndtson: Philosophical Breathwork in Theory and in Praxis. Experiential lecture

10.00–10.30 Coffee Break

10.30–12.00 Panel IV: Artistic journeys of air
Chair: Päivi Järviö

  • Riikka Theresa Innanen, Antti Nykyri and Leena Rouhiainen: Presenting the Air Journey
  • Bart H. M. Vandeput (Bartaku Art_Research): Intimate Scarification: a bodily mixture of seed, vocal cord, air pipe and plant breath

12.00–12.30 Multibody sonic performance by Bart H. M. Vandeput (Bartaku Art_Research): “Retinal-alian Group Hum: breathing-sounding the retinal code”.

12.30–14.30 Lunch break

14.30–15.30 Embodied sonorous dialogue by Hilkka-Liisa Vuori: “Generous singing: towards the pedagogy of listening”. (NOTE! In Suomenlinna church)

15.30–16.00 Coffee break

16.00–17.30 Panel V: The nothing and the voice of breath
Chair: Hilkka-Liisa Vuori

  • Päivi Järviö: The meaningfulness of nothing: Breathing as an expressive means in the experience of singing
  • Maja Bjelica: Respiratory voicings: inspiring and conspiring

17.30–18.00 Coffee break

18.00–19.00 Participatory lecture essay by Miriam Jakob and Jana Unmüßig: “Breathing Sideways”.

19.00 Respiratory Reverberations by Petri Berndtson and Lenart Škof

Programme and Organizing Committee

  • Petri Berndtson, Science and Research Centre Koper, Slovenia 
  • Maja Bjelica, Science and Research Centre Koper, Slovenia 
  • Päivi Järviö, Sibelius Academy, Uniarts Helsinki, Finland 
  • Lenart Škof, Science and Research Centre Koper, Slovenia


The symposium is financially supported by Slovenian Research Agency
(ARRS project J7-1824: Surviving the Anthropocene through Inventing New Ecological Justice and Biosocial Philosophical Literacy)


6.6.2022 at 16:00 – 20:00
7.6.2022 at 9:00 – 20:00
8.6.2022 at 9:00 – 20:00


Sibelius Academy Chamber Music Hall (6 June), Pajasali, Suomenlinna Fortress (7–8 June)