Respire brings together three components: a virtual environment (built in Unity 3D and presented via head-mounted display-HTC Vive), embodied interaction (via a respiration sensor), and an intelligent musical agent to listen to breathing patterns and generate the sound with affective properties. Respire guides its users to reconnect with an embodied experience, often lost in our interaction with new and emerging technologies. Built upon mindfulness principles, in this piece breathing is utilized as an object of the user’s attention through changes in virtual landscapes and audio environment. The changes in Respire are generated directly from changes in breathing patterns, as the user becomes aware of their breath and the agency they have in the environment.

The musical agent listens to the user’s breathing and takes the user on a journey through abstracted worlds with different affective qualities creating a user-dependent narrative. From the calm to stormy oceans and ambiguous architectures that one is immersed in and that elicit curiosity; this is a journey within one’s own breathing. The environment allows each audience member to create their alternate realities based on the interaction between two dynamic systems: the user and the system. This makes each journey unique and unrepeatable.

Respire @ Vancouver Art Gallery, April 2018

Digital Arts Carnival, Richmond, September 2018


Philippe Pasquier, Mirjana Prpa, Kivanç Tatar

Research Papers

Tatar, K., Prpa M., & Pasquier, P (Upcoming). Respire: A Virtual Reality Art Piece with a Musical Agent guided by Respiratory Interaction. Accepted to the Leonardo Music Journal.

Prpa, M., Schiphorst, T., Tatar, K., & Pasquier, P. (2018, April). Respire: a Breath Away from the Experience in Virtual Environment. In Extended Abstracts of the 2018 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (p. Art10). ACM.


Prpa, M., Tatar, K., Françoise, J., Riecke, B., Schiphorst, T., & Pasquier, P. (2018, June). Attending to Breath: Exploring How the Cues in a Virtual Environment Guide the Attention to Breath and Shape the Quality of Experience to Support Mindfulness. In Proceedings of the 2018 on Designing Interactive Systems Conference 2018 (pp. 71-84). ACM.


Prpa, M., Tatar, K., Riecke, B. E., & Pasquier, P. (2017, July). The Pulse Breath Water System: Exploring Breathing as an Embodied Interaction for Enhancing the Affective Potential of Virtual Reality. In International Conference on Virtual, Augmented and Mixed Reality (pp. 153-172). Springer, Cham.



Pulse Breath Water OneArt Space, March 2016, NYC, NY

P.O.E.M.A OiFuturo, July – August 2016, Rio deJaneiro, Brazil

Pulse Breath Water MUTEK VR Salon, November 2016, Montreal, Canada

Respire Digital Carnival, September 2018, Richmond, Canada

Respire ArtCHI2018, April 2018, Montreal, Canada


Rethinking VR for benefit of society: interview with SFU PhD candidate, changemaker, and woman in tech Mirjana Prpa

Respire at Digital Carnival Program

SFU artists make waves at Rio Olympics

SIAT art project at rio olympics takes your breath away

Performance imersiva onde o publico experimenta a realidade virtual