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“memorable and passionate”

art monthly

EXHALE is about people mending broken identities; piecing together links between the war on terror and the war against asylum seekers; school kids understanding the basics of humanity; expressing critical threads between slavery and modern migration contexts; being caught up in legal categories that demean your rights; and a range of other critical narratives along with a different take on how art can engage and discuss such issues.

only £15.99 incl. p+p



Exhale is out now! only £15.99 incl. free delivery
Box set with video-DVD, audio-CD, interactive ROM-art and two booklets
 of essays, images and contexts

EXHALE, a multiple-format publication containing original artworks (video, interactive and audio) by Keith Piper, Kooj Chuhan, Aidan Jolly and a number of other artists and collaborators.  This contains a series of short films, interactive art, music, writing and photography with conscience, anger, sensitivity and emotion, reflecting unsensational yet powerful and thought-provoking narratives on the lives and contexts around the asylum and migration stories which the artists connected with across the UK.  It also includes exclusive interviews with both Keith Piper and the acclaimed What If I'm Not Real team.

This box set includes a video-DVD, an audio-CD, interactive ROM art, and two booklets of essays, images and contexts.  It contains the entire set of moving image and interactive works from the ground-breaking Terminal Frontiers exhibition which toured the UK and beyond from 2005-7, including the What If I'm Not Real installation and film which received a rave review at SIGGRAPH 2007.  It also contains "The Next Breath" project, a set of short fast-take semi-documentary narratives as video and audio pieces involving artists, refugees, asylum seekers and others from Glasgow, Derby, London and Plymouth.

EXHALE: the event
 - an amazing event marking the official launch of the EXHALE publication took place at Manchester's GREEN ROOM

EXHALE coincides with the
PASSENGER multimedia music
 performance - details here

go to the Exhale  Press Release

check out the Exhale event schedule

watch the Exhale promo on YouTube

EXHALE :  local streets, global waters, bloodstained papers
5 years of video, music and electronic art engaging with asylum and migration in a new world order

Box set with video- DVD, audio-CD, interactive ROM-art and two booklets with 40 pages of essays, images and contexts

to coincide with the release of EXHALE, virtual migrants toured special screenings with live performances at various venues across the UK and beyond - check the event schedule

From 2001-2006, virtual migrants engaged with UK artists and communities intent on reconstructing the polemical landscape and varying experiences of asylum in a globalised post-9/11 world.  In doing so, they blurred various boundaries of established art practices and steered well away from the dominant, patronising and sometimes sensational depictions of migrant people as victims or ogres.  Using moving image, video, interactive multimedia, photography, audio, music, installation and collaborative practice, these works collide documentary realism with poetic imagination yet retain an intimacy between the personal and the epic.  They yield a rare insight into the frail strength of humanity at such margins of our global neighbourhoods.

Read the introduction to the EXHALE works by Kooj Chuhan - CLICK HERE

an exposition of the Terminal Frontiers and The Next Breath series of works, by the following artists and collaborators:

key artists:

Tang Lin
Keith Piper
Kooj Chuhan
Aidan Jolly
Jilah Bakhshayesh
Miselo Kunda
Hafiza Mohamed

plus artists and collaborators:

Razia Mohamed
Hai Li Heaton
Segun Lee-French
Francia Messado
Azhar Nasir (Miraaj)
Corey Mwamba
Poulomi Desai
Ed Mynott
Khasrow Mustafa
Tony Openshaw
Mark Krantz
Kate Jims
Bruno Ngumbwe

Mojtaba Bahadoran
Sophie Powell
MC Robert
Zahira Mohamed
Ahmad Jafar Beklou
Siber Osman

Hema Karecha
Ibrahim K
Ramazan Mohammed
Charanjit Singh
Marywan Mahmoud
Fardows Yasin
Jerry T Boweh

Isuelt Timmermans 
Mohammed Asif
Ian Broscombe
Shankal Yami
Klaus-Dieter Michel
Lily Reilly
Anwar Ditta
Amal Ali

Manda Lwimbo
Karaw Maullod Rawf
Burhan Mahmod
Audrey Rose
Erfaneh Anbari

with commissioned texts by Eddie Chambers, Sean Cubitt, Kooj Chuhan and Mark Krantz

"evocative, metaphorical”  The Guardian
“brilliantly executed”  City Life

      DVD with 18 original video and interactive works, including artist interviews and ‘the making of’ documentary
Audio-CD with 11 works including songs, soundtracks and live music
Two booklets with 40 pages of essays, images and contexts

DVD produced by kooj chuhan (vm director of visual media and editor-in-chief for Exhale)
audio CD produced by aidan jolly (vm director of music and sound)

(also read the recent article (click here) commissioned by DXN magazine entitled "EXHALE")


Short promotional video of EXHALE



(DVD/CD/ booklets)
Release date: March 2007
Available from selected galleries and bookshops nationwide and online from
Five years of electronic art engaging with asylum and migration in a new world order

Exhale is the culmination of five years’ work for artists’ group Virtual Migrants.

It explores varying experiences of asylum in a globalised post-9/11 world.

Containing moving image, video, interactive multimedia, photography, audio, music, installation and collaborative practice, the DVD/CD package includes the work of over 30 culturally diverse and emerging artists alongside established figures such as Keith Piper.

The work splits into two distinct phases: the first half forming part of the touring Terminal Frontiers exhibition, which took in five venues including Watermans in London and Manchester’s Castlefield Gallery between 2002 and 2005.

One of these pieces of work, Keith Piper’s Local/ Stranger, is an interactive experience which encourages participants to critically examine their sense of what defines a stranger as opposed to a local. The user logs in by name, and chooses the category which they feel best describes their current situation through the question ‘How best would you describe yourself… a local or a stranger?’  Based on their responses they are drawn into a series of interactive question and answer scenarios which progressively challenge notions of the terms as discrete categories within the context of contemporary fluid and cosmopolitan societies.

Other works make up a body of yet un-exhibited work, known collectively as The Next Breath. The work involves a number of collaborations with UK-based people categorised as refugees or asylum-seekers, which took place 2004-2006. 

In Glasgow, Virtual Migrants worked with young music group 4D, whose members are from Iran, Zimbabwe, Armenia and Sri Lanka. Together, they produced a video piece built around the daily threats and regular attacks which they experience on their estate.

Whilst in London, work with young women from Somalia, Iraq and the Seychelles and local photographer/ performance artist Poulomi Desai created an abstract fictional narrative in which characters exist looking for the other half of their fragment of a personal photograph, and begin to complete their jigsaw through finding each other. 

The audio works feature a wide range of musical collaborators including hip-hop influenced artists from West Africa, classical santoor playing from Iran and a special remix by young, Glasgow-based rappers 4D. Mixed in with this is spoken poetry and montages of interviews.

Exhale has been produced by by Kooj Chuhan (digital media artist and filmmaker) and Aidan Jolly (musician and sound artist).

Kooj said: “The works range from fictional and abstract to factual and realist, and propose new ways through which art can tackle the emotive and personal dialectics of migration through displacement in our very midst which many choose to ignore.”

Exhale consists of:
- DVD with 18 original video and interactive works, including artist interviews and ‘the making of’ documentary
- Audio-CD with 11 works including songs, soundtracks and live music
- Two booklets with 40-pages of essays, images and contexts.

“Memorable and passionate” Art Monthly       
"Evocative, metaphorical”
The Guardian

Virtual Migrants’ association was founded in 1998 to bring together a range of artists, particularly those working in visual, music, performance and writing, to collaborate on moving image and new media projects. Its critical purpose is to add new aesthetics, artistic responses and perspectives to themes of race, migration and globalisation, and to draw public attention to expressions of migrants whose existence is held in question and the causes of those political issues which continually make headline news.