Piero Manzoni «Bodies of Air» 1956-60.

Piero Manzoni, The Artist's Breath, 1956
The Artist's Breath, 1956
membrane, breath.

«In 1959 I prepared a series of 45 Bodies of Air (pneumatic sculptures) of maximum diameter 80cm (height including base 120cm) : if the purchaser wished, he could, in addition to the membrane and the base (closed in the small pencil box provided), buy my breath too, in order to conserve it in the membrane.»

«At the same period I planned a group of spherical bodies of air of approximate diameter 2.50 meters to go in a park. By means of an air compressor these were to pulsate with a slow unsynchronized rhythm of breathing, experimental example with a membrane of small dimensions, 1959. On the same principle I make an architectural proposal of a pneumatically pulsating ceiling and wall. As another scheme for a park I had thought of a cluster of pneumatic cylinders, elongated in shape, like steel, which would vibrate in the blowing of the wind. As part of the same project there would have been other very high steel which would have produced sounds in the wind.»

Piero Manzoni, Body of Air, 1956
Body of Air, 1956.

Piero Manzoni, Project for Placentarium, 1961
Project for Placentarium ,1961.

«In 1959-1960 I studied the idea of a moving, autonomous sculpture for outdoors. This mechanical animal would be independent because it would draw its nourishment from nature (solar energy). At night it would shut down and close in on itself. In the day it would move and emit sounds, rays and antennae in order to seek energy and avoid obstacles. It would also have the ability to reproduce itself.

In 1960 I realized an old project: the first sculpture in space. A sphere held suspended by a jet of air. On the same principle I worked on a number of bodies of absolute light : spheroids held up by suitably directed jets of air that turned giddily on their own axes to create a virtual volume.» ~ Piero Manzoni.

sources: mindweb, pieromanzoni.org