21 domestic fans
36 m of thin muslin fabric
3x3x3.5 m of bamboo structure
Delhi, the most contaminated city in the world
1 month of performance
Thanks Publica art festival, IIFA students and the city of ModinagarThis public art installation was developed for the city of New Delhi during the month of January 2016. The bamboo structure holds 21 domestic fans that are sucking the air of the city and blowing it through the thin muslin fabric. This way, after a month of performance on public space, the fabric captured the visible pollution particles of this air-pollution record-breaking capital.New Delhi ́s air is to some extent the most polluted in the world. This contamination is not only due to its heavy traffic and the great abundance of two wheeled vehicles burning oil but also to wood burning for heat. It has been documented that a 12 year old kid living in the city ́s downtown atmosphere is equivalent to a heavy smokers lung.
When invited to develop a piece to be exhibited on public space for a month, I immediately decided to work on the air subject. This machine was crafted in close collaboration with local bamboo artisans and all materials were sourced in local bazaars. An amazing group of art students, from IIFA in Modinagar, were a constant help in the construction, documentation and transporting of this massive piece.
Delhi Lung works as a printer, where the ink is the pollution in the air and the paper is the muslin fabric. After one month of printing time we had the final result: 36 m of dirty fabric which is marked with its geo-location and exposure time. All its components were given away after their use, as the fans had not had any intervention and the bamboo is easily recyclable.
The main aim with this installation was to create a visual witness of a sick process, a low tech scanner in a way. Many articles are written about Delhi ́s contamination, but not everybody reads them. Many numbers are given about the PM 2.5 levels and the Carbon Monoxide, but numbers remain abstract. This piece co-inhabited with the city's dwellers and showed every day a slow decay. Citizens saw it becoming darker and its work laterality spoke by itself.
36 m Muslin cotton fabric
21 Domestic fans