Who owns the air? Emissions trading and contemporary media art

Andrea Polli,
Artist and Professor, University of New Mexico

The accelerating climate change crisis and the realization that humans are the primary cause of it has raised questions about ownership and responsibility. Who “owns” the climate change crisis and who is responsible for mitigating and reversing it if possible? One overwhelming response by governments on an international level has been to propose a market solution by selling the atmosphere. Is the commercial marketplace the only answer? How can art, technology and media offer alternative cultural practices and open new forms of understanding the air?

Andrea Polli’s projects Airlight series and Particle falls are animated light projections that reveals the invisible dangers in the air we are breathing. It is a dramatic public artwork that raises awareness of the real time presence and impact of particle pollution.