View a short descriptive movie or download a pdf.

In InfoBreath, the participant is presented with a cybernetic flower arcing from a frosted pane of glass. Rigged with a breath sensor and connected to Carnivore, an internet packet sniffer, the flower is cued in to the wireless network flowing in the space immediately surrounding it. Breathing on the plant triggers a flurry of text that makes visible the wireless internet traffic passing through the air around the viewer. The plant absorbs this information, analyzing the bytes of data for those aspects that seem more ‘alive,’ or human-generated, and releases those packets in a form comprehensible to humans.
1. piezo breath sensor registers the human’s breath. 2. a microcontroller attached to the plant converts these signals to a format the computer can understand. 3. a carnivore client captures network traffic through the computer’s wireless card. 4. the int

In this way, the transfer of carbon dioxide and oxygen between human and plant is complemented with the wireless network traffic we release regularly into the air around us. This project imagines a world in which the carbon dioxide we exhale carries comprehensible information, and envisions the transfer of carbon dioxide to oxygen within a plant as a transfer of information: an information ecosystem. It imagines the plant, buffeted by streams of wireless data, sifting through those pings and packets for the few elements sent from one human to another, and reflecting those living packets of internet data back to us, in an elemental attempt at communication.

Breathing onto the plant triggers a flurry of text, making visible the wireless internet passing through the air in the vicinity of the viewer.

This piece is available for installation. Please for further information. The InfoBreath was created by Christopher Robbins, building upon code by Christobal Mendoza, Tom Igoe, and the Radical Software Group.


Responsive Environments, Subtle Technologies Symposium Exhibit. Toronto, ON. Canada. June 2006.

Infobreath presented and exhibited at httpConnectivity: The Tenth Biennial Symposium on Arts and Technology at the Ammerman Center for Arts and Technology, New London, CT. March 29 - April 1, 2006.


If you'd like some images for press or blog, check here, or for high resolution photographs.

The InfoBreath has been featured on the Carnivore website, turbulence, we make money not art, and has been translated to Chinese and French. It was the cover article in the RISDviews Spring 2007 issue.