Osculator (2019) is part of disgust.desire.design, a sacra collective project. The project is a collection of anthropological experiments on the nature of disgust and desire through the lens of design and investigates the roles our olfactory and gustatory perceptions play in generating feelings of desire and disgust. Additionally, it inquires on what connections, if any, exist between desire and disgust.
To investigate these questions we created Osculator, a system comprised of rituals via ceramic vessels. Osculator asks us to reconsider our relationship to breath and the other. Participants, including strangers, are asked to place their nose and mouth into the opening of the vessels. They are asked to breathe in either a synchronized, alternating, or unstructured manner. A third party may place ritual additives of orange peels, lavender, or mint into the openings of the ceramic vessel to alter the odors emanating from participants’ mouths.
These rituals have inspired questions regarding the participant’s response:
What is the initial response of strangers vs non-strangers to the request?
When and how are participants holding breath?
How long have they known each other?
Can one disregard disgust through ecstasy rituals?
What role does shame or fear of bad breath play in participation?