It takes 154,000 breaths to evacuate Boston

kanarinka ran the entire evacuation route system in Boston and attempted to measure the distance in human breath. The project also involves a podcast and a sculptural installation of the archive of tens of thousands of breaths .

The project is an attempt to measure our post-9/11 collective fear in the individual breaths that it takes to traverse these new geographies of insecurity.

The $827,500 Boston emergency evacuation system was installed in 2006 to demonstrate the city’s preparedness for evacuating people in snowstorms, hurricanes, infrastructure failures, fires and/or terrorist attacks.

It takes 154,000 breaths to evacuate Boston consists of:

  1. a series of running performances in public space (2007)
  2. a web podcast of breaths (2007)
  3. a sculptural installation of the archive of breaths (2008)

Running Performances

Website & Podcast

Evacuateboston.com website
Project Website: www.evacuateboston.com

Archive of Breaths (sculptural piece)

Medium: custom-made table, 26 jars, 26 speaker components, wire, 13 CD players
Dimensions: 45″x72″x16″

I created a sculptural & audio archive of the collection of breaths. There are 26 jars on a custom-made table which correspond to the 26 runs it took to cover the evacuation routes. Each jar size corresponds to the number of breaths from that run. The speaker inside the jar plays the breaths collected from that run. (Better documentation coming soon)

This piece is on view in Experimental Geography, a traveling show curated by Nato Thompson and produced by ICI.



4 Comments

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  2. [...] a.k.a. Catherine D’Ignazio, an artist and educator, will discuss her project It takes 154,000 breaths to evacuate Boston, and examine the role that fear can play in public space, especially in the form of public [...]

  3. [...] naturally is also a life-giving force. Invisible yet essential. Catharine D’Ignazio, otherwise known as Kanarinka is a US-based collaborative performance artist. In a project called [...]

  4. [...] about contemporary security culture in the city of Boston? Listen to kanarinka’s psychogeographic It Takes 154,000 Breaths to Evacuate Boston, a table of glass jars containing speakers, each of which plays the recorded sounds of her fearful [...]