One Breath Poem

Artist Statement: One Breath Poem – Message for a Revolution (text by LabSynthE)

In One Breath Poem: Message for a Revolution the voice is used to express a poem or poetic phrase with the limitation of speaking in just one “unit” or a single exhale. This edition is a call and response regarding the uprisings against police brutality and systemic racism in the summer of 2020.LabSynthE uses emerging technologies to create digitally mediated experiences. To facilitate poetic exchange for this project, the One Breath Poem: Message for a Revolution call-in platform is inspired by works such as John Giorno’s Dial A Poem (1968) and Heath Bunting’s King’s Cross Phone-In (1994). Participants can dial in from their mobile phones or landlines. Calls are directed to a voice over internet protocol (VoIP) we programmed on the site Using the programming language Python and the server,, we create site-specific arrays (bundles of poetic exchanges) for exhibition and exchange opportunities. 

Artist Statement: One Breath Poem – Telephone Edition (text by LabSynthE)

One Breath Poem is a participatory art and technology project that synthesizes poetry, sound, and the performance of silence.

A breath is the first calibration of life and expression. As a collection, breathing presents patterns and silences from the moment we are born until the moment of our last breaths. It is a unit of activity and resting. LabSynthE considers the breath as a universal performative unit, used in One Breath Poem as an auditory fingerprint.
One Breath Poem is a mechanism for contemplative and empathetic listening. Purposeful breathing initiates a multi-modal sound sculpture. In this work, we invite visitors to breathe into our tin can telephone to emancipate the sound of John Cage’s silent pauses during a recording made in Dallas, Texas.

This project is informed by intimacy.  When two people perform a communicative act it is mediated by an asynchronous alternation of listening to the other and responding. This natural form of attention and dialogue replicates on a greater scale the pattern of exhaling and inhaling. When visitors engage in this act of communication with our tin can telephone, they transform the technological device into a living and breathing system.
One Breath Poem takes the spoken word beyond the confines of language and into the embodied, universal language of breath.We suggest that breathing is a metaphor for the unsaid, infused with what has been said and what is still to be said. With One Breath Poem, Telephone Edition, we intend to allow the unveiling of the imaginative possibility of language.