The Chinese Man Collecting Air Pollution to Make a Brick Is One of Many 'Pollution Artists'
Amidst international conversations about climate change, Chinese artists are turning pollution into an artistic endeavor.
As COP21, the annual Conference of Parties that gathers world leaders to discuss climate change, hopes to drive the climate change discussion forward, a performance artist in Beijing is doing his part to bring awareness to the notoriously polluted air of the Chinese urban center. This past July, “Nut Brother” a 34-year-old artist announced his plans to vacuum the dust from Beijing’s air. And that’s precisely what he did for the next 100 days with the use of his industrial-strength vacuum. He then proceeded to mix the dust with clay and make a brick out of, quite literally, thin air.
As he told Quartz, the next step “is to give the brick to a construction site, and make it part of a new building in Beijing. He would like to let the brick disappear into the concrete jungle, he said, ‘just like putting a drop of water in the ocean.’”
This is not the first time Chinese pollution has inspired artists. Earlier this year, Xiao Zhu, a Chinese company that makes air filters for homes and cars, turned the pollution rising from factory smokestacks into their own canvas, projecting children’s faces onto the rising smoke. The stunt hoped to raise awareness of the deadly effect of air pollution on children, using the tagline “Clean the air. Let the future breathe again.” And last year, following the appearance of 16,000 dead pigs floating down a river in Shanghai, Chinese contemporary artist, Cai Guo-Qiang created a solo show called “The Ninth Wave” at Shanghai's contemporary art museum, the Power Station of Art, which featured a life-sized boat filled with wool and styrofoam-crafted animals that appear sickly and dying.
If these art projects have something in common, it's the way they understand that while government regulations and international conferences are necessary, what we need is a broader cultural shift that’ll help us change our outlook on air pollution and climate change.
Speaking at COP21, President Barack Obama stated that the main goal of the next two weeks was “not simply an agreement to roll back the pollution we put into the skies, but an agreement that helps us lift people from poverty without condemning the next generation to a planet that is beyond its capacity to repair.”
Manuel is a NYC-based writer interested in all things media and pop culture. He's a regular contributor to The Film Experience and Remezcla. His work has been featured in Mic News, Film Comment, and Model View Culture. He also has a PhD but hates bragging about it. www.mbetancourt.com
A federal judge ruled that the Trump administration likely violated the reporter's Fifth Amendment rights when it stripped his press credentials earlier this month.
- Acosta will be allowed to return to the White House on Friday.
- The judge described the ruling as narrow, and didn't rule one way or the other on violations of the First Amendment.
- The case is still open, and the administration may choose to appeal the ruling.
Progressive America would be half as big, but twice as populated as its conservative twin.
- America's two political tribes have consolidated into 'red' and 'blue' nations, with seemingly irreconcilable differences.
- Perhaps the best way to stop the infighting is to go for a divorce and give the two nations a country each
- Based on the UN's partition plan for Israel/Palestine, this proposal provides territorial contiguity and sea access to both 'red' and 'blue' America
The definition of a kilogram will now be fixed to Planck's constant, a fundamental part of quantum physics.
- The new definition of a kilogram is based on a physical constant in quantum physics.
- Unlike the current definition of a kilogram, this measurement will never change.
- Scientists also voted to update the definitions of several other measurements in physics.
SMARTER FASTER trademarks owned by The Big Think, Inc. All rights reserved.