Respiratory Mining

Breath (BRH) uses human respiration to mine crypto-currencies. The respiratory mining rig converts lung exhalation into a hash rate for a micro computer mining on the Monero (XMR) blockchain. The installation uses spirometry, a medical technique for measuring lung capacity, to convert breathing into computational processing speed. The total amount of financial profit accumulated through mining is dictated by the amount of breath that is exhaled into the respiratory mining rig. This website indicates the status of the mining rig for the duration of the exhibition and a graph shows in real-time the current hash rate of the micro-computer. At the time of writing it has accumulated just £0.03 (0.000226495645 XMR, 0.00000378 BTC) but the value of this is subject to change. The work has been featured at Generator Projects in Dundee, Scotland as part of Neon Digital Art Festival and exhibited as part of After Money at Alt-w LAB in Edinburgh.

The Spirometer was developed in the late 1800’s and was instrumental in diagnosing pulmonary infections such as the black lung, a disease often caught by miners from being exposed to excessive amounts of coal. Breath (BRH) adapts this medical apparatus into a tool for mining crypto currencies. Turning the act of breathing into an active miner on the blockchain network encourages us to consider more sustainable and psychological methods to maintain blockchains. The piece is presented as part of an imagined narrative where the body has become a biological system for producing capital and breath becomes a universal currency. The narrative tells the story of how breathing became a globally recognised currency and how bio-economics combined markets and the body to create a new homo-economicus. In this story, breath is used to exchange for goods & services and this bio-economic system encourages people to live healthier lives

Project Website


We Make Money Not Art

Motherboard (Vice)


The Project was funded by the Creative Industries fund NL, developed at School of Machines and was inspired by the work of The Institute of Human Obsolescence and developed after conversations with its founder, Manuel Beltrán.