The mouth mouffle is a tool which is, at least in Hong Kong, usually used to prevent the dispersion of diseases. In addition to that, it is also a common tool for workers such as cleaners or industrial painters which work in somehow unhealthy or unhygienical environments. In these contexts, the mouth mouffle has the function as a border to rather prevent the body from the environment or the environment from the body. Nonetheless, there are severeal other functional and also political, economical and aesthetical aspects of the mouth mouffle as a tool. Personalized, well designed mouth masks do not only serve health-political issues but also dissolve the border between the aesthetics of the state of emergency and the regular state of being. It’s political effect is to claim the state of emergency to a regular state from a aestehtical perspective. Another political effect is its side effects to protect the face and also hide it. Therefore protesters can (and did, for example in Hong Kong, 2014) use mouth mouffles as a tool for an activist practice and protection against tear gas.
Our research includes a small typology of web-material, a crazy self-experiment, an observation about the situations and places of buying/selling the mouth mouffle, a street research and some short interviews with people from the streets.
by Eva Lin, Philipp Spillmann, Larissa Holaschke