Ventilation System is a site-responsive installation built of standard ventilation materials that are locally sourced. Part of a series of System Works that Holt began in 1981, with an aim to expose the rudiments of technology upon which humans rely, Ventilation System draws attention to the infrastructure that is omnipresent but often invisible in the built environment. The structure is functional, outfitted with spinning fans and turbine ventilators, yet unnecessary. Holt brings a playfulness to the industrial connotation of the work, leaving space for deeper musings on energy, utility, and earth’s resources.
Holt presented four iterations of Ventilation System during her lifetime. In 2022 Holt/Smithson Foundation exhibited the first posthumous presentation of the work in the exhibition Nancy Holt / Inside Outside at Bildmuseet.