AuxeticBreath is an interactive new-media installation that records and visualizes the rhythmic patterns of collective human breaths using soft robotics and auxetic structures. The goals of this artwork are 1) observing the audiences’ interaction with collective breaths and the changing perception of respiration during the COVID-19 pandemic; and 2) finding a new artistic approach using a combination of auxetic structures and soft robotics.
Using TPU filaments, a flexible filament than PLA or ABS, I created auxetic structures that can be easily replicated using a 3d printer, and which have the impact shielding capability of elastomers. This allows artists to easily achieve reactive changes in shape, thereby reducing the complexity of control. Maintaining the shape and controlling the direction of expansion of the elastomer presents another significant challenge. Auxetic materials allow for more stable shapes, diversity in tension/resilience, and flexibility of movement that prevents bursting from over-inflation
The metaphors and artistic expressions of inflation and deflation of elastomers, and the emission of light from the expansion of auxetic structures invite an individual's presence to become part of the larger collective installation, and to take a moment to consider the underlying changing perception of breath during the pandemic. By employing an emerging technology, we want to encourage other artists to use and modify emerging technology as a new artistic approach for realizing their own ideas.