Breathing With

Research project (2020-2021) by Miriam Jakob and Jana Unmüßig

Introduction

Miriam Jakob and Jana Unmüßig will explore breath as a tool for expanded experimental choreography that investigates ways of conviviality and companionship. Jakob and Unmüßig, both are driven by a sensuous-aesthetic-political concern that takes into account that breath, and therefore the air “we” breathe, is not taken for granted (at least not for everyone).

On one side breath is a precondition for living beings (humans as for many non-humans) produced by bodies that can only exist because of oxygen. On the other hand it is a mechanism almost unnoticed, often perceived as automatic and passive. In this apparent passivity of breath lays one of their core interest that they want to tackle: The focus and attention towards breath is not foregrounding a personal-felt experience rather it aims to dissociate of notions of agency and personhood from the supposed exceptionalism of the human animal. How to navigate an affective relation to, or even enmeshment with non-human rhythms. In that manner “Breathing With” acknowledges that air is messy, being neither an empty space nor a void, but a space where species meet. And like any other life form, as Donna Haraway emphasizes, we find ourselves ‘in a knot of species coshaping one another in layers of reciprocating complexity all the way down’ (2008: 42). And that´s also were the choreographic motivation of “Breathing With” comes into play.

The project is funded by Senat Berlin.