Smoke and Hot Air

Ali Momeni & Robin Mandel

Until 13 October 2008

Smoke, electronics, sound. Courtesy: the artists. Acknowledgements: Matt Brackett

Smoke and Hot Air is the artists’ response to the frequent threats against Iran by other countries in recent years. The project searches for sentences including the words “attack Iran” on Google News, which are then spoken using a text-to-speech synthesizer. The voice is in turn picked up by a microphone, analyzed and translated into rhythmically corresponding smoke rings from a quartet of smoke ring makers. Translating the news into old-fashioned smoke signals, the project illustrates how the complexities of national and political identity can get reduced to false impressions, deceit and posturing.