Michael Pinsky’s World

Design | Jun 2017 | BY Brook S. Mason

With climate change still heating up as the most pressing issue of our day, Brit conceptual artist Michael Pinsky has just turned out a captivating work that hovers over design and installation art while addressing that critical concern. He’s installed a series of five geodesic domes on a Norwegian mountaintop and there’s an experiential nature to his “Pollution Pods”. 

Each curvilinear Pod stretches close to 65 feet around with 10 feet ceilings and is filled with air similar to that found in Beijing, Delhi, London, São Paulo and Tautra.  One can literally walk through those non-toxic environments. His ultimate aim? “Societal impact to effect concern and ultimately change our habits,” says Pinsky speaking from a Pod in Trondheim.

The Pollution Pods are five pods connected by passages; each holding the atmosphere of one of the world’s four most polluted cities.

But Pinksy’s conscious raising installation is just one portion of the annual STARMUS Festival, which is part gathering of scientists as well as artists coupled with rock concerts. Highlighting the Festival this year are events featuring Stephen Hawking, 12 prize winners and 10 astronauts including Buzz Aldrin.  The artist’s project is the culmination of Norwegian University of Science and Technology’s  Climart, a four-year research examining the ways visual art can affect the perception of climate change.

Although Pinksy is still a bit under the radar here, the UN Climate Change Conference reined him in two years ago to create one of his captivating endeavours. For his “L’eau qui dort” (Sleeping Water) working with divers, Pinsky dredged up rusty box springs, discarded bicycles and shopping carts from a canal which were then fixed on metal shafts and suspended just above the surface of the Canal de l’Ourcq in northern Paris. His aim? “Making people aware of just how much we throw away and polluted waters,” says Pinksy.

Photo by Stein Roar Leite.

Telling of his attention grabbing oeuvre in the haute museum world, the TATE Britain, V&A Museum as well as London’s ICA and Saatchi Gallery have all featured his work.

But if you can’t jet over to Norway and saunter through Pinsky’s Pods, fear not. Right now, he’s working out the final details of a global tour. First stops will be the Norwegian cities of Betgen and Oslo and then London next year. If that’s not enough, China is also on his schedule. “New York would also be great,” he says.

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