projection < pneuma screen

adam m pere & catty dan zhang

Harvard GSD | Public Projections | fall 2015
Instructor: Krzysztof Wodiczko

Pneuma - the ancient Greek word for “breath”, is a mixture of the elements air (in motion) and fire (as warmth). Its highest form - in Stoic philosophy- constitutes the human soul (psychê), and organizes both the individual and the cosmos.

Pneuma Screen is a wearable device which translates the body's physiological changes into a tangible medium. Through projections on the mask, the body, and the space, Pnuema Screen exaggerates the silent dialogue between human life and the built environment.

Beyond the traditional understanding in art history and media archaeology, where a screen serves as either a physical filter that defines the boundary of the inside and the outside, or as a surface holding digital moving images, Pneuma Screen is a responsive instrument that visualizes flow patterns from a projector above one’s head onto a translucent veil in front of one’s mouth and the surrounding surfaces, blending light, pulse and breath with the human form and space.

One wears the screen while ascending and descending steps creating an improvised performance of one's pulse and breath reacting to the effort expelled from vertical movement. These silent biological signals - being sensed, visualized, and projected- become as loud, if not louder, than verbal communication forcing us to take notice of the often ignored sensations and the muted impact that the environment has on our bodies.


In 2016 Pneuma Screen was presented at the Associate of Collegiate School of Architecture conference Crossing Americas: Probing Disglobal Networks in Santiago, Chile