Breath at the End of the World

Research output: Performances, compositions and other non-textual formsPerformance



In The Uninhabitable Earth: Life After Warming (2019), David Wallace-Wells narrates the effects that global warming, pollution, wildfire and other factors will have on the atmosphere. The impact of our current lifestyle is already being felt on our breathing and it is likely that our whole system will need to find ways to adapt if it is to survive a future with a drastically changed air environment.

Performed in the Climate Portal on Tuesday 2 November 2021 as part of COP26, the United Nations Climate Conference, Breath at the End of the World is an intimate performative intervention that considers ways of breathing at the end of the world. What can we do to make the unbreathable, breathable again? How will we have to adapt to the new life conditions in the atmosphere around us? What will our breathing feel and sound like? Will the response to this new atmosphere be different in different parts of the world? The event is devised as silent and meditative, as an act of communal consideration and awareness.

On black cards and white ink, participants are invited to record characteristics of their adapted breath or their responses. These cards become a sculptural testimony of the struggle for breath and the adaptation we will have to make if we want to continue breathing as CO2 levels rise.


Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished or Performed - 2 Nov 2021
EventCOP26 - Glasgow, United Kingdom
Duration: 30 Oct 202114 Nov 2021

Author keywords

  • art, breath, performance, intimate, one-to-one, activism, climate