Pollution Pods are a series of five interconnected geodesic domes which contain carefully mixed recipes emulating the relative presence of ozone, particulate matter, nitrogen dioxide, sulphur dioxide and carbon monoxide, which recreate the pollution from London, Beijing, São Paulo, New Delhi and Tautra in Norway.
Forming a ring in the centre of the Somerset House courtyard, visitors pass through the climatically controlled pods, and increasingly polluted cells, from dry and cold locations to hot and humid. to compare the quality of polluted global environments from the cleanest air of Tautra, Norway to the low air quality of New Delhi. All five Pollution Pods are linked, so that one has to pass through all of them in order to exit the installation. This visceral experience encapsulates the sense that the world – and our own impact on it – is interconnected. Pinsky’s work explores the environmental and human impact of consumerism, and looks to change our perceptions and actions around climate change.
The entry pod, emulating a peninsula in Norway called Tautra, will use an Airlabs filter to remove all harmful gases to create fresh air. A smorgasbord of metropolises will follow, each with their own specific and nuanced polluted environments; from London’s invisible but deadly output of nitrogen oxides to New Delhi’s suffocating haze of airborne particles.
Pollution Pods was originally commissioned by the Norwegian University of Science and Technology for Climart a four-year research project that examines the underlying psychological mechanisms involved in both the production and reception of visual art using these findings in an attempt to unite the natural sciences to the visual arts. It has been built with the support of BuildwithHubs. Pollution Pods has received funding from Arts Council England.
Michael Pinsky – Pollution Pods – Somerset House
Strand, London WC2R 1LA
18 – 25 April 2018 – open until 20.00