“Common Datum” by Tobias Klein, Jane Prophet

  • ©, Tobias Klein and Jane Prophet, Common Datum


    Common Datum

Artist(s) and People Involved:



Artist Statement:

    The air we exhale at 37 C, is 100% saturated with water, which is about 44 mg/liter. The average lung capacity of an adult is about 6 liters. When we exhale, that saturated air cools to the ambient temperature, and if the air outside is cool enough it will condense into tiny droplets of water that form a visible cloud. When our breath comes in contact with a cold surface, it leaves visible condensation.

    Common Datum is an environmentally reactive, hygroscopic sculpture. A series of suspended vessels continuously absorb the humidity from the gallery – generated through the breath of visitors. Slowly each 3D printed condenser accumulates water that is fed to a set of plants. Even though all vessels are of individual shape and absorb moisture at a different rate, in the end, a common datum is created. A homeostatic balance emerges between visitors and the plant-based life – revealing a hidden symbiotic relationship articulating a material-based interspecies dialogue.

    Common Datum combines traditional materials and making processes with digital fabrication techniques. It celebrates novel materials and choreographs environmental reactions and forces, defining a digital craft to disrupt binary relations such as traditional and digital making, or simulations of dynamic and inanimate systems. The work is based on our breath to form a participatory ecological dialogue and exchange.

    The glass work was created with the help of Kwan Tse, with the support of her studio, Soekjing Studio.

Other Information:

    Exhibition. Goethe-Institut Paris, May 16 – Aug 21
    Curator: Philipp Asbach

    Tobias Klein & Jane Prophet are selected ISEA2023 artists