The Breathers

Swedish artists Erik Sandelin & Magnus Torstensson of unsworn, have created what they call a Breather. This solar-powered electronic device is made from a solar panel, a small circuit, and a speaker. When put into a container and attached to a south-facing wall, it converts solar light into chirping sounds.


Part of the artists’ Desearch and Revelopement programme -which recontextualises technological progress into meaningful artefacts through workshops and interventions on the theme of recycling, reappropriation and de[con]struction, the Breathers project imagines that in the future not only the radio frequencies but also the spectrum of visible light will be available for licensing by private companies.

The Breathers are some kind of sonic grafitti that could be used by free-spectrum activists. By subtly parasiting the private frequencies of the solar spectrum – thus subverting the business model of solar filtering companies – the Breathers articulate a resistance of the commodification of the energy spectrum.