Subtropics Presents | Rene Barge:
Breath Forms

Thursday 08/21/08 7-10PM OPENING RECEPTION
Thursday 08/21/08 7:30PM TALK: Rene Barge, David Dunn & Gustavo Matamoros
exhibition dates: Friday 08/22/08 – Monday 09/29/08
Broward College Central Campus
Fine Arts Gallery / Building 3
3501 SW Davie Road, Davie, FL 33314

a four-channel sound installation in the Fine Arts Gallery at Broward Community College sponsored by Subtropics:

Breath Forms
statement by Rene Barge

Over the summer I developed a practice of breathing into various microphones developed by the bio-acoustician and composer, David Dunn. David uses the microphones to investigate our connection to the world and how it keeps us simultaneously alive and dying. I used the microphones to investigate my breath that is very much connected to my awareness of my living and dying. I also used filters as an element of lighthearted play and inquisitiveness about my breath.

The presence of sound in our world reminds me that there is much to be explored beyond our dominantly visual culture. In his work I and Thou, Martin Buber speaks of how we see people as simply material objects, something we look at, an “it,” or we can look into a person and enter the sacredness of their humanity so that they become a “thou.” (And as a Jewish philosopher who immigrated to Palestine to advocate for Arab-Jewish cooperation, Martin knew all too well how easily we objectify.) I am freed up enough to listen in this same way that Martin speaks about how we can look into a person and enter the sacredness of their humanity. I have learned from practiced listening that we can listen into a person and enter into the sacredness of their humanity much like David Dunn listens into the sacredness of our symbiotic relationship to the world, our humanity. Rather than looking at people as objects or work tools, we can listen to them as sacred living beings.

Recordings of my breath fill the space with all its dying and living moments, with all my inquisitiveness about listening attentively and playfully. You are sharing the same space the sound recording of my breath is sharing right now. And, as the composer and sound artist, Gustavo Matamoros points out; the sound of the breath is a white noise that contains all sounds. You are interacting and participating with it and the way in which you are interacting and participating with it cannot sound like this in any space else.