Culture / Art Republik

London Somerset House Art installation: Michael Pinsky’s Pollution Pods

Artist Michael Pinsky made up of five geodesic domes or “Pollution Pods”, emulates polluted environments in cities globally.

Apr 25, 2018 | By LUXUO

A London Somerset House Art installation by artist Michael Pinsky made up of five geodesic domes or “Pollution Pods”, emulates polluted environments in cities globally. Pinsky’s five Pollution Pods each contain carefully created environments, simulating different atmospheric conditions globally. Michael Pinsky’s Pollution Pods is currently on display, available to all at London’s Somerset House,

Pinsky, a British artist, takes the combined roles of artist, urban planner, activist, researcher, and citizen he often starts residencies and commissions without a specified agenda, working with local people and resources, allowing the physical, social and political environment to define his working methodology. Thus his Pollution Pods are emblematic of his work.

London Somerset House Art installation: Michael Pinsky’s Pollution Pods

Visitors begin in Tautra in Norway, breathing in clean smelling air and then continuing through to the cities of London, New Delhi, Beijing and São Paulo which between them suffer from some of the lowest air quality in the world.

Each of Michael Pinsky’s Pollution Pods replicates nuanced polluted environments which contain varying levels of ozone, particulate matter, nitrogen dioxide, sulphur dioxide and carbon monoxide. London’s invisible, but deadly, output nitrogen is followed by New Delhi where the air is filled with a haze of airborne particles. It is estimated that the average Londoner, exposed to the current levels of pollution loses up to 16 months of their life, while for a resident of New Delhi, pollution could cut short the life of a resident by around 4 years.

Taking inspiration from Buckminster Fullers’ geodesic domes, originally designed in the early 20th century to provide sustainable disaster-resistant global shelter using forms drawn from nature, the sculptural exterior of Michael Pinsky’s Pollution Pods starkly contrasts with the interpretation of toxic everyday realities within. First commissioned for and shown in the middle of nature in Norway, this iteration at Somerset House is sat within one of the most polluted areas of London. Somerset House was built and completed around the start of the industrial revolution, a time historically the beginning of mass overuse of the planet’s resources.  Caused by a whole array of domestic and industrial products and process, this work explores air pollution as one of the many the environmental and human impacts of contemporary consumerism. Pinsky’s work invites visitors to consider the complex and interconnected nature of our world, and aims to challenge perceptions of, and action around, climate change.

Pinsky’s Pollution Pods were originally commissioned by the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) in Trondheim for Climart and it was the first time that the Pollution Pods were presented in the UK.

Pinsky’s work has been shown at TATE Britain; Museum of Contemporary Art, Chengdu; Saatchi Gallery; Victoria and Albert Museum; Institute for Contemporary Art, London; La Villette, Paris; BALTIC, Gateshead; Centre for Contemporary Art, Glasgow and more.

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