6 Breaths Per Minute: Everyday Incantations



collaboration with Evelyn Von Michalofski


The installation consists of a vertical screen with two synchronized projections, one on each face of the screen. The images are of two female vocalist-performers standing back to back, performing the role of diviners. They chant, clap and stomp their way through a catalogue of archaic divination techniques, transforming the lexicographic text into a mantra, an incantation. A recounting of divinatory rites seems potent in our time of technology-driven utopias; they sustain our capacity for faith in the unknown while alluding to our doubting faith in established belief systems and superstitions. Through this archiving, we acknowledge the appeal of ancient technologies and irrational logic.





media: two-channel video, stereo audio
dimensions: variable
duration: 06:32 loops
composition & lyrics: M. Chen & E. Von Michalofski
vocals & performance: Maryem Hassan Tollar, Vilma Indra Vitols
camera: Kwoi Gin


6 Breaths Per Minute was first exhibited at Wharf, Centre d’art contemporain de Basse Normandie, Caen, France, curated by Gilles Forest. Supported by the Canada Council for the Arts and the Ontario Arts Council.