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IS EVAPORATION EMOTION?
SPARE ROOM
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CURATED BY SUNGPIL YOON
IMAGES: DENNIS HA

The industry standards for thermal comfort were devised by ASHRAE (American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Engineers) in the mid 20th century. It has evolved somewhat since the standards were first established but largely remains the measure by which companies construct thermal conditions for working spaces and offices using documents called The Comfort Index, and Comfort Zone Chart.

Standardized thermal comfort was achieved by "processing experimental data on the relationship of the human body and the environment." The variation in environment and the responsiveness of bodies were studied as a series of inputs and outputs. Subjects (largely young, white, male engineering students) were placed in a "climatic chamber" where they were exposed to varying temperature, humidity, and airflow while performing low-level physical activities. Every few minutes they were asked to score the ambient weather conditions in the chamber from cold, cool, slightly cool, neutral, slightly warm, warm or hot, the results of which where used to create uniform “neutral” air in interior space. (1)

Spare Room presents Is Evaporation Emotion? A solo exhibition by Tegan Moore — Moore will present a construction of an alternative climatic chamber, built to emphasize aspects of thermal comfort not thoroughly explored by ASHRAE, considered through the optics of haptic, visual, and feminist interpretations. Using provisional and passive methods for situating air, the exhibition proposes that the problem of standardized thermal comfort is the invisibility of its production, and the design of homogeneous environments. A visual feedback of air conditioning looks instead at a non-technical and poetic interpretation of a climatic chamber based on the emotional support structure of the community. As a brief reversion of Jacobo Zambrano’s previous exhibition, a series of events will be hosted within the climatic chamber in the duration of the exhibition utilized as a vehicle for miscellaneous discussions.

(1)Murphy, Michelle. Sick Building Syndrome and the Problem of Uncertainty, Duke University Press: 2006.

Special thanks to the Canada Council for the Arts and the Ontario Arts Council for the support in research and presentation of this project.