The project Inhale recollects the smoke of opium in Iranian fictions. It indexes, in the form of written accounts, the instances of opium used in modern and contemporary novels and short stories. This expanding archive traces the opium as it is inhaled by the different persona and in the different historical times depicted in these narratives. With the help of “functional respiratory imaging” used in computational predictive pathology, a “longue durée” inhalation of opium smoke particles is simulated in 3D animation over a pair of hypothetical lungs. If it is the smoke that binds the lung to the social history of opium, it also makes it a sedimentary organ deposited from the alchemy of the toxin and remedy. This project is not only about the pathology of the archive, but also about archival futurity.
The artists would like to thank FLUIDDA, the functional respiratory imaging company in Belgium, for their kind support and collaboration.