The most provocative moment comes when architect, engineer, and artist Francesca Galeazzi defiantly releases a canister of six kilograms of compressed carbon dioxide as a statement. Against the hiss of the canister, Galeazzi states, “I’m fully aware of this negative gesture. I think people need to take full responsibility for their actions, and at the moment, we’re not doing that.”
While this act seems in stark contrast to the excursion’s mission, oceanographer and Cape Farewell board member Dr. Simon Boxall later reveals that six kilos of CO2 represent only twenty miles in a car.
From 2014 to 2017, Cape Farewell partnered with the Norwegian-based research group Climart for a sociological study of visual art’s efficacy when it comes to influencing the public’s perception of climate change.
After Climart commissioned British artist Michael Pinsky to create the immersive installation Pollution Pods, Cape Farewell toured the work worldwide.
The art piece features five connected geodesic domes contain the air pollution mix of a city. Visitors start with the clean air of Tautra, Norway, then experience London, New Delhi, Beijing, and São Paolo.
During the 2019 Climate Action Summit, Pollution Pods was installed outside the United Nations in New York—during a heat wave. In the humid, pollution-filled New Delhi dome, it was 120°F. “People were running in and out of that dome. They couldn’t stay there. But at the same time, we had live data from New Delhi, and it was exactly that temperature,” relates Buckland. “That physical experience is what art can do. It can cut through all of the data….”
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