Volte Gallery


Qusai Kathawala,
Our Breath Concrete - LED
matrix, 2009

A coffee table over which you have a conversation with breath. A 3-dimensional LED grid, controlled by breathing. This is what you can expect to experience from the first solo show by the artist Qusai Kathawala.

With an MFA from the Art Center College of Design, CA, Qusai Kathawala uses multiple media in ways that foreground how technology becomes as extension of our nervous system. Grounded in a practice-based understanding of the body, his work is self-reflexive, examining and sculpting our relationships at an individual, interpersonal and societal level. His art is difficult to categorize because of the variety of disciplines he draws upon: he is a long time practioner of pranayama and meditation, an engineer, a designer, an artist and a futurist. Rejecting the idea that technology is only a means to increase efficiency, he creates technologically mediated situations—‘microtopias’—fantastic environments that provide an opportunity for people to reflect and empathize with each other at a visceral level.

His works have included being part of Feel the Love, a workshop on intimacy at Machine Projects, Los Angeles; a collaboration with Margaret Morris, Psychologist at the intersection of mobility, biofeedback and emotional self-awareness; Silence, an aural interface in which the form of interaction is a metaphor for the content; HelloWorld a networked communication on the global urban landscape using SMS; Taxionomy, an urban mapping project and mobile cartographic research endeavour; RustleTV, the research, production and broadcasting of a 3 week community based micro-television channel in an old Victorian market in Bangalore; in addition collaboration with several artists including Shaina Anand, Beatrice Gibson and Mukul Deora.

The third show at Volte, Our Breath Concrete is a series of participatory installations that are powered by breathing. It is art you become part of, not just look at. By participating in his work you cannot help but enter an altered state of consciousness: you become acutely aware of your own otherwise invisible breath, inside now and outside now, and the distinction between inside and outside blurs. By virtue of sharing space, we share breath and the gap between you and me begins to blur.