Breathing is a crucial mundane that is unquestioned until it is tested.
This underappreciated process sustains us. But when do we notice our breath and why? I aimed to draw attention to this process; to make visible the invisible.
Using a Peak Flow Meter device, I measured the lung capacity from a group of participants at regular intervals over the course of two weeks. A mix of gender, age, activity level, and health were recruited to monitor their peak expiratory flow in relation to certain activities and compare to expected breathing patterns. The asthmatics, smokers, and sickly not only fell below health standards, but also noticed their breathing because it was a constant struggle in their lives. The few that superseded the norm took care of their bodies and mind through meditation, yoga, exercise, and playing instruments. They unanimously said breathing was a conscious part of these activities.
I worked to visually reveal the breath contained within each person through simple illustrations of the participant holding a balloon representing their lung capacity. A book further shows the actual lung capacity overlaid on the expected lung capacity. The book stands to visually stimulate an appreciation of the ordinary breath.