British artist Michael Pinsky’s Pollution Pods emulate the air quality of cities around the world. When you enter the first of five geodesic domes, you breathe the clean air and feel the climate of Tautra, which is near Trondheim in Norway. In the following four domes you move through increasingly warm and polluted environments found in London, New Delhi, São Paulo, and Beijing. In each, the air quality, ozone, nitrogen dioxide, sulphur dioxide, and carbon monoxide levels are climatically controlled.
“In the Pollution Pods, I have tried to distill the whole bodily sense of being in each place,” says Pinsky. “For instance, being in São Paulo seems like a sanctuary compared to New Delhi, until your eyes start to water from the sensation of ethanol, whilst Tautra is unlike any air you’ll have ever breathed before, it is so pure.”
The project was commissioned by Climart, a Norway-based research project that studies how climate-related artwork affects viewer perceptions of climate change. It is managed by Cape Farewell, an arts organization that raises awareness around climate change through fostering cross-disciplinary collaborations.
Pollution Pods is currently touring the world. It was recently installed at the United Nations Climate Action Summit and Youth Climate Summit in New York.