Have you ever wondered how a global economy smells like? British artist Michael Pinsky, in collaboration with Climart, built the Pollution Pods, an installation that replicates the smell and air quality of different urban environments.
By using a carefully mixed elements that are present in the air of each chosen location, they recreated the smell of some of the most polluted cities in the world: Beijing, New Delhi, Sao Paulo, London and Oslo. The choice of these five cities is a strategic one: global economy.
“Much of this pollution is driven by the insatiable appetite of capitalist consumerism. Whilst we here in the developed world live in an environment with relatively clean air, people in countries such as China and India are being poisoned by the air borne toxins created from industries fulfilling orders from the West”, the project description explains. This difference is how our global economy smells like. The five pollution pods are interconnected, visitors move from one pod to the next through short corridors to highlight the interrelation of these global eco-systems. The difference from the extremely polluted New Delhi pod to the clean Oslo pod is made clear to visitors, with the aim of raising awareness and evoking a reaction.
The installation sends the message that developing countries aren’t the only ones to blame for the damage done to our planet. Even though they are the ones producing the pollutants, it is a global episode in which each country plays its part. Eventually, no one stays untouched from the influence of climate change.