On October 17th, 2012, I smuggled one liter of Cuban air across the border through U.S. Customs, in direct violation of the 51-year embargo.
In February of 2013, another liter of Iranian air was smuggle across the border through U.S. Customs, in direct violation of the current.
This bottled air traveled inside a suitcase that came all the way from Tel Aviv, Israel, passing from hand to hand across a human network all the way from East to West.
Air Traffic (USA – Iran):
As a compound of natural elements and human-created phenomena—from radio waves to pollution—air is a large amorphous network that comprises the absolute public space of our planet. This project explores proposes a new approach to public art, which works with air as a material embodiment of the public sphere through its physical invisibility, political and symbolic weight.
Air traffic is an ongoing performance and evolving archive, comprised of photographs, videos, and objects full of air that document the journey of empty containers across contested borderlines and between countries that are in conflict with the USA.
For the past two years, I have been collecting samples of air from cities like Tehran, Havana, New York and Tel Aviv. After having the air samples into clear containers, these are passed hand to hand and through network of participants located in different countries, until the air samples cross international borders and customs, where no exchange is legally possible (like the Cuban – USA border). Air traffic images air as a material embodiment of the public sphere, while investigating—or even challenging—the logistics that rule the mobilization of goods, capital, politics and even people across contested geopolitical landscapes and territories.