ANDREA POLLI (Based in Albuquerque, New Mexico)

Although air is invisible, it has a major impact on public health. In London, early results of a recent study commissioned by the mayor suggest that 4,300 people die prematurely every year as a result of poor air quality in the city. Despite the invisibility of air, modern sensors can detect tiny particulate pollution levels in real time.
Particle Falls is a real-time, environmentally reactive projection that allows viewers to see current levels of fine particulates. The project was first presented for 6 months as a 60ft digitally generated waterfall cascading down the facade of the AT&T building in San Jose California. The project includes a nephelometer (donated by MetOne in collaboration with Sonoma Technologies/AirNOW), which measures the smallest particle, PM2.5. The global monitoring of this particle is one of the most recent developments in aeronomy. Fewer bright particles over the waterfall mean fewer particles in the air.

Photograph: © Volker Hartmann

Video: © Public Art Lab & Ludwig Reuter


Artist biography

Andrea Polli is an artist working at the intersection of art, science and technology whose practice includes media installation, public interventions, curating and directing art and community projects and writing. She has been creating media and technology artworks related to environmental science issues since 1999.
In her research and practice, she experiments with performance, interactive and web art, digital broadcasting and mobile media. She is focused on participatory media, and her practice often includes workshops or other activities designed to engage the public with ideas and concepts at various levels.
Polli’s work with art/science, technology has been presented widely in over one hundred presentations, exhibitions and performances internationally including the Whitney Museum of American Artport and The Field Museum of Natural History, and has been recognized by numerous grants, residencies and awards including Fullbright and UNESCO.