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MEPHITIC AIR

Wesley Goatley and Tobias Revell

I found funding for and produced the work Mephitic Air by artists Wesley Goatley and Tobias Revell.


Mephitic Air, which took place at ONCA in Brighton focused on the aestheticization of real time air pollution data gathered from a sensor placed on the roof of the gallery, which is located on one of the busiest roads in the city. Data on each of the pollutants, Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2), Carbon Monoxide (CO) and particulate matter smaller than 2.5 micrometres (PM2.5) was visualised live on three screens on the gallery – the visualisations becoming larger and more dense as the readings climbed.


Each of the visualisations was accompanied by a sonification of the data which again rose and fell as the pollution rose and fell – the sound also being directed through the space by the wind direction and speed also being recorded from the roof of the gallery.


The exhibition was accompanied by a number of talks and panel discussions on art, air pollution and climate activism. There was also an education strand led by local after school group MakerClub in which young people 8-11 built and recorded information from sensors and worked together to think of solutions for making the general public aware of air pollution – these were then shown in the gallery.