Polution Pods are capturing the smell, quality and exact air temperature in places around the world via geodesic domes at the COP26 forum, where major world leaders are desperately discussing how we can work together to limit the devastating effects of climate change.
On display in Glasgow, where COP26 is currently taking place, it’s hoped that people actually stepping into the Polution Pods will dramatically evoke the conditions people are struggling to live in right now – a brilliant example of how smell can be used to engage all of our senses in artistic and politically provocative ways.
‘The Pollution Pods are a series of geodesic domes whose air quality, smell and temperature accurately recreate the pollution of five different locations on three continents: London, Beijing, São Paulo, New Delhi and Tautra, a remote peninsula in Norway. Michael Pinsky created the pods in 2017 to test whether art can change people’s perceptions of, and actions around, climate change. Now they face their greatest challenge yet – to shift the debate on air pollution and climate change to help secure real change at COP26.’
The Pollution Pods’ have been travelling to reach as many people as possible with their scented message, their journey beginning in Granary Square, London, then drifting to Birmingham, Lancaster and Newcastle and where ‘accompanied by Ride for their Lives – staff from six UK children’s hospitals who cycled 800km from London to Glasgow to deliver messages from the international health community including the Healthy Climate Prescription Letter, signed by 450 medical organisations across the globe.’
The Pollution Pods have been constructed by students from the University of East London and have been generously supported by the Clean Air Fund with additional sponsorship from Airlabs and BuildwithHubs.
If you’re anywhere near Glasgow, we usrge you to experience the scents in person – it really is extraordinary how smell can allow us to travel immediately, via our noses. Obviously we usually prefer doing this with fabulous fine fragrances that take us to exotic locations and happy holiday memories, but it behoves us all to take climate change seriously, and to appreciatel how scent can be used in more artistic, environmentally important ways.
The Polution Pods will remain on display – FREE to enter – in Glasgow until November 12th, and all details of where and how to experience them can be found at whatsonglasgow.co.uk
By Suzy Nightingale