Some breaths are considered worthy of protection, while others are rendered worthless.
to Breathe Initiative
The ‘Gas Exchanges & Right to Breathe’ initiative by the Logische Phantasie Lab (LoPh) is dedicated to the development of normative frameworks capable of addressing breathing injustices in a complexly entangled and increasingly digitalized world.
Breathing Injustices
Movements like #icantbreathe and #BLM demonstrate that breathing is a matter of life and death, precisely because it is also one of law and social justice. The increasing effects of climate change further reveal the relationship between environmental violence and resource extraction in creating unjust and unbreathable atmospheres. Air pollution poses a major threat across the globe. The World Health Organization (WHO) reports that 99% of the world’s population breathes air that falls short of air quality guidelines, with air pollution killing 7 million people each year, disproportionately affecting middle and low-income households. Along with other phenomena threatening life on Earth, the Covid-19 pandemic has caused more than 6.09 million deaths around the globe, further demonstrating that breathing is governed by a complex of legal, political, and physical structures.
Normative Digitality
In addition, new technologies such as distributed ledger technologies (DLT), quantum computing, the Internet of Things (IoT), artificial intelligence (AI) and robotics, virtual and augmented realities, and neuro- and bio-technologies, are engendering a redistribution and decentralization of power which result in radical shifts in governance and policy making. Concepts central to national and international legal frameworks, and even the infrastructures of normativity in which they are embedded, are undergoing fundamental changes. What are the rights and protections - if any - of that which is not represented, not even representable by legal codices and computer codes? Can oxygen be tokenized, and if so, who decides on breathability? What are the tools of resistance and community-building within architectures of codes and metaverses?
‘Gas Exchanges & Right to Breathe’ is also the name of its first public exhibition, where “Breath for Sale” is exhibited alongside works by Raviv Ganchrow, Amy Yao, and Elia Vargas at Slought in Philadelphia from May 10 - June 24, 2022 before traveling to other locations.
About LoPh
The Logische Phantasie Lab (LoPh) is a women-led NGO and decentralized research agency dedicated to the development and implementation of ethical and participatory approaches towards normativity in times of climate change and new digital technologies. Across its various projects and initiatives, LoPh collaborates with public and private stakeholders, activists, policy makers, NGOs, lawyers, artists, filmmakers, and technologists from all over the globe.