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Biotechnological installation Inspiration* is a breathing station that dispenses air enriched with the soil bacteria Mycobacterium vaccae, which has been found by scientists to improve mood, reduce anxiety and increase mental capacity. However, the dose of the distributed air is not always guaranteed or evenly enriched by the respiratory masks. Inhalation and exhalation are intimate respiratory processes that bind humans to their environment, however what happens with the connection once it is technologically mediated and conditioned? The question is, who or what will dispense the dose? What will the dose contain? Who will survive?


In central bioreactor of Inspiration, the air is being saturated with particles of Mycobacterium vaccae by disintegration of alginate capsules filled with bacteria and soil. The dose of the happiness bacteria is dispensed by blowing the air through the three chambers of the bioreactor. The air travels from the bottom to the top and carries the bacterial aerosols towards the respiratory masks for visitors to inhale. However, gusts of air are not necessarily provided, nor evenly dosed. Pressure cylinders and reanimation balloons push the happiness air through the masks in a calm, however uneven rhythm. Behind the masks we are not all equal, how will we breathe?

Inspiration breathing station is seeking for a positive connection to the planet we inhabit, however it is also very conscious of the fact that the respiratory exchange is and will be unevenly technologically mediated, controlled and administered.

*Title of the artwork originates from the phase in the respiratory process termed inspiration. The word draws its meaning from inspirare [lat.]: to breath life into; to instill something in the heart or in the mind of someone.



All human and non-human actors are immersed in the planetary metabolism of matter circulating through the lithosphere, atmosphere, hydrosphere and biosphere. Biogeochemical circulation between spheres is catalyzed by feedback loops of microbial metabolism, which connect all biological and technological agents into an intra_flux* of exchanges and relationships. Every atom on the planet passes through soil metabolism while making evolutionary feedback loops.


Soil bacteria Mycobacterium vaccae or Golden bacillus named also the happiness bacteria enters human bodies as a non-pathogenic aerosol with a beneficial effect on human serotonin system. Scientists consider it also as a potential antidepressant, immunomodulator, antihistamine, and brain stimulator.

Moreover, respiratory process in the Inspiration breathing station does not bear its powers only in it’s substances. The vagus nerve connects lungs to every human organ, thus the rhythm of breathing influences the condition of the whole body. Breath is the only conscious activity which has the power to influence the functioning of all the organ systems, it can consciously excite or relax the body by regulating the length and depth of the breath. Inspiration thus suggest to the inhalers a relaxing rhythm that calms the vagus nerve.


Breathing is one of the feedback loops that entangle human beings with the environment. During the first inhalation and last exhalation a mixture of gases and aerosols is metabolised in the lungs, which can either be beneficial or adverse. The dosage influences quality of life of the organism as well as its survival. The air pollution problem is reflected in numerous respiratory diseases and fatalities increasing every year globally. Intensive urbanization and deforestation are causing the situation to deteriorate even further.


Inspiration breathing station is seeking for a positive connection to the planet we inhabit, however it is also very conscious of the fact that the respiratory exchange is and will be unevenly technologically mediated, controlled and administered.

*Intra_flux [neologism]: The flow of intra-actions that occurs among actors in the planetary metabolism.


Research and Literature

Mechanics of Breathing: Inspiration

Inspiration allows air to be moved into the lungs and requires the contraction of various muscles:
– The diaphragm and external intercostal muscles contract
– When the diaphragm contracts, it flattens, pressing down on the abdominal contents and lifting the thoracic cavity. This leads to an increase in the volume of the thoracic cavity.
The diaphragm is the most important muscle in inspiration as it amounts to 60 to 80% of the work in ventilation.
– Contraction of the external intercostal muscles leads to an elevation of the ribs and sternum
– These actions cause an increase in the volume of the lungs
– According to Boyle’s law, an increase in the volume of air results in a decrease in the pressure of air within the lungs
Pressure outside the lungs is larger compared to the inside and air rushes into the lungs as gas molecules move from an area of high pressure to low pressure.
[Source: Mechanics of Breathing]

Vagus Nerve

The vagus nerve, historically cited as the pneumogastric nerve, is the tenth cranial nerve or CN X, and interfaces with parasympathetic control of the heart, lungs, and digestive tract. The vagus nerves are paired but are normally referred to in the singular. It is the longest nerve of the autonomic nervous system in the human body.
[Source: Vagus Nerve]


Aerosol Delivery Devices

In medicine, a nebulizer is a aerosol delivery device used to administer medication in the form of a mist inhaled into the lungs. Nebulizers are commonly used for the treatment of asthma, cystic fibrosis, COPD and other respiratory diseases or disorders.
Nebulizers use oxygen, compressed air or ultrasonic power to break up solutions and suspensions into small aerosol droplets that can be directly inhaled from the mouthpiece of the device. An aerosol is a mixture of gas and solid or liquid particles.
[Source: Nebulizer, Aerosol Delivery Devices Timeline]

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