top of page

Territorial inhalations

Intervention in public space
Colaboration: Demian Ferrari
Buenos Aires 2019-2021
Bangalore 2023

The urban territory inhales and coexists. It isn´t dystopian anymore and has become a new anthropocenic landscape, which is impregnated with human agents and their products. The pollution present in the atmosphere is the major threat worldwide and the main cause of premature death. The invisible microparticles of suspended gases in the air, cohabit with us and enter to our bodies just as quick and natural as we breathe.


Buenos Aires version, Argentina. Museo Sívori.12° Premio Itaú de Artes Visuales. 


Bangalore version, India. Science Gallery Bengaluru. Carbon exhibition, 2023-2024.

Territorial inhalations is based on the capture of suspended air particles from routes with a backpack that has a suction system that allows the collection of respirable particulate material from the atmosphere. This device, which in turn records the amount of carbon dioxide present in the airspace, is used t walk cities and know their air quality in real time. The project involves the use of the body for displacements from two operations: firstly, it is necessary to enter the matter because there is an unavoidable exposure and placement of one's own corporeality to the affected territory and its atmosphere; and secondly, the matter enters the body, since the user consumes the suspended particles of the context in which it is inserted.

The work is co-gestated with the air that acts through diverse temporalities of human and non-human agencies: on the human side, it is unintentionally shaped by the atmospheric waste generated by industrial activities and locomotion of modern humanity in times that preceded us and in contemporary times. On a non-human level, the work is also the result of plant and fungal entities that release products into the atmosphere for their continuity and survival. There is a multiple agency at different times and scales that problematize the territory and in turn constitute it.

The collection of information on atmospheric conditions is carried out using two methodologies: on the one hand, digitally, from a CO2 sensor that allows the amount of this gas to be known in real time on a screen on the front of the backpack as well as a smaller one that is on the user's wrist; and on the other hand, in an analogical manner from discs of mycelium (mushroom biocomposite) that the device has inside and that function as a deposit surface for the aspirated aerial micro and macroparticles. The backpack absorbs gaseous toxins through technical mechanisms analogous to the act of breathing, simulating organic inhalation that produces an impression on the biomaterial surface similar to that produced on our organs in the affected territories, and in turn on the body of the person carrying the backpack.  The body becomes a recording and memory device of what happens in the territory.


- Buenos Aires version- 

The first version was carried out pre-pandemic to know the air of the City of Buenos Aires and the southern suburbs of Buenos Aires. The absorption system was through funnels and fans that sucked in gases and air particles from the environment. During the almost two years of walking and cycling with the device, the dyed mycelium filters were used to make a “cyanometer”, a device created in the 19th century to know how blue the sky could be, but in this case contemporary: a poetic instrument to know how grey/how polluted our atmosphere can be.













- Bangalore version - 

The second version was made for Carbon exhibition at the Science Gallery Bengaluru, India. This new version aimed to store the largest amount of breathable urban particles in a few days of walking due to the short time in the Asian city. The system was optimised using a more powerful direct device on the mycelium disks so that the grey areas of collection persistence can be quickly visualised. In turn, a screen was placed on the front of the backpack that transmitted in real time the increase or reduction curve of the amount of CO2 present in the atmosphere, so that passers-by could observe the information when interacting with the device.  The exhibition also shows the routes carried out in Bangalore through maps in which the CO2 quantities collected can be displayed in parts per million. It can be viewed online here:

WhatsApp Image 2021-04-04 at 14.23_edite

What is a cyanometer?

It is a device invented in 1789 by the physicist and mountaineer Horace-Bénédict de Saussure to measure how blue the sky could be. It was used by Alexander von Humboldt on his expeditions.


All photography and video recording of the city of Bangalore was done by Vikas Gotla and Sankalp Singh.


Mycelium discs












Special thanks to the Science Gallery Bengaluru team for the support and management in carrying out this project:

Jahnavi Phalkey, David Verghese, Vikas Gotla,  Sankalp Singh, Madhushree Kamak, Gayatri Manu, Vasudha Malani, Shelwyn James, Ashank Chandapillai and all the mediators and collaborators. 

For more information about Carbon exhibition in Science Gallery Bengaluru:

Article "A look into the process of ‘Territorial Inhalations’ with Ana Laura Cantera", written by Vikas Gotla from Science Gallery Bengaluru. "How breathable are our cities? How walkable are our cities? How accessible are our cities?"

Link to read:

Podcast episode of "Carbon Chronicles with Ana Laura Cantera" by India Bioscience.

Listen here:


Above: Dehydrated mycelium disc ready to insert into the backpack. Right: Disc used in 4 days of walking in Bangalore.

Details of the disc used in Bangalore where it is possible to see the dirt and air particles collected.

Meet-Ana-Laura-Centera_4b32b63c5c28c858e051e9d1a2a717a1 (1).png
bottom of page