On September 21, 2019, the International Day of Peace, artist Jeppe Hein and ART 2030 are launching ‘Breathe with Me’, a week-long global art action inviting audiences around the world to paint their own individual ‘breath’. ‘Breathe with Me’ is an interactive public art project to raise awareness that the air we breathe is part of our connected world and climate. In ‘Breathe with Me’ every breath takes the form of painted blue lines on canvas walls: each participant paints as they exhale in long downward brush strokes, creating a continuous mural. Everyone paints the lines of their breath differently, yet each line forms part of a universal whole. The goal of ‘Breathe with Me’ is to encourage the widest possible public participation, both in New York and globally during the week of the UN Secretary General’s Climate Action Summit and opening of the 74th General Assembly, highlighting the urgency of Climate Action in 2019.
‘Breathe with Me’ launches on September 21, 2019, during the Youth Climate Summit. Over the course of the week, ‘Breathe with Me’ will invite hundreds of international dignitaries gathered at the UN, to paint their own individual breath on a huge canvas wall curving across the lobby of the UN Headquarters. The ‘Breathe with Me’ art action will continue at the UN through September 23, the Climate Action Summit, as well as September 24, the opening of the UN General Assembly.
From September 25-27, 2019, ‘Breathe with Me’ will move outside to Central Park, where it will be one of the largest public art projects inside Central Park in recent years. Thousands of participants will be invited to paint their breath in a communal art action over three days. ‘Breathe with Me’ will take the form of six huge canvas waves flowing for almost 600 feet through the heart of the park, on which the public will be invited to paint their breath, with paints and brushes provided by Jeppe Hein and ART 2030.
On September 28, a ‘Breathe with Me’ film will be shown at the Global Citizen Festival in Central Park as part of the day’s events.
In celebration of ‘Breathe with Me’, The Metropolitan Museum of Art will present accompanying education programs.
‘Breathe with Me’ is a public art action taking place on many levels: it occurs in real time in New York during the week of the UN Climate Action Summit, and it also invites people to participate in it virtually around the world. The work is both deeply personal and also touches on many aspects of our lives and the life of our planet. Guided by the act of breathing, all audiences are invited to reflect on themselves and the world around them. Gathering together the painted breath of every participant, the artwork visualizes not only our individual awareness of ourselves, but also our communities, societies, and environment. Altogether, ‘Breathe with Me’ is a collective breath for the world and for the climate we all share.
Jeppe Hein and ART 2030 aim to engage people across the globe in this art action, starting in the week of the UN Climate Action Summit and General Assembly opening. In addition to the launch events in New York, they are launching an open invitation to everyone across the globe to take ‘Breathe with Me’ into their own lives – individuals, families, neighbours, communities, schools, museums, as well as other public institutions and organizations, as an act of solidarity for the climate change and the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its 17 Global Goals to create prosperity for people and the planet. They are providing a free downloadable online manual for ‘Breathe with Me’. Participants are encouraged to upload or post contributions, photos and film documentation as well as any ideas for ‘Breathe with Me’ projects on Instagram using the hashtag #breathewithme.