Following a format of listening, doing, and reflecting, collectively we will consider breathing—and its variants—as necessary tools for time travel. Through discussion and hands-on exploration, we will imagine breathing in the future by considering how it is that we breathe (and don’t breathe) now. A series of questions we would like to explore together include: What have we lost over time in terms of our ability to breathe deeply? What are the politics of the substrates that we breathe? How does breathing relate to rest and how might we practice being able to breathe better? Who gets to breathe and how might we become more attuned to those who aren’t able to? How might the act of breathing or not breathing be tied together with memory, consciousness and what is perceptible?
A number of guests will help to focus our discussion, including Beverly Bain, who will lead us in thinking through aspiration as both method and practice. Bain’s work builds on the concept of aspiration developed by Christina Sharpe in her book In The Wake: On Blackness And Being. Aspiration focuses on metaphorically putting breath back into the Black female queer and trans bodies of those who have died, been killed, experienced police- and other forms of violence, and have survived that violence. We will discuss Bain’s research alongside activities that bring attention to site-specific environmental data on the air we will be inhaling, and ways of breathing and walking as a generative and reflective practice. Jamie Magnusson will guide us through internal martial arts exercises in breathing to consider the “social body.” We will engage with Magnusson’s practice of community building and political work through “breath – work,” and its potential to dismantle oppressive hierarchies and build toward new social relations.