Pollution Pods by Michael Pinsky

PRESS RELEASE: Portland to host Pollution Pods, an interactive installation by the artist Michael Pinsky



  • Cape Farewell, in partnership with B-Side, have today announced that Michael Pinsky’s Pollution Pods will be hosted at the Stadium Bowl, Portland from 29 June - 1 July
  • The free, immersive installation uses specially created conditions to simulate the air quality in cities around the world.
  • In a series of interconnecting pods, visitors will feel, taste and smell the environments that are the norm for much of the world’s population.
  • The installation has toured to enormous acclaim worldwide, with over 10,000 visitors taking part in the 2018 European tour, as well as a week-long residency at Somerset House.
  • On Friday 28th June, a specially curated discussion event featuring artists Michael Pinsky and Leni Dothan will look into the impact of art on public perceptions around climate change. Prompted by the invisible enemy of air pollution Leni has worked with the Chemistry department of University College London (UCL), to create an experimental work highlighting the damaging effects of pollution and the healing powers of clean air.




From 29 June to 1 July 2019, Portland will host Pollution Pods, a unique interactive installation which will allow visitors to experience different levels of pollution and air quality from cities across the world.


At the Stadium Bowl, visitors are invited to pass through a series of climatically controlled pods and compare five contrasting global environments. Within each interconnected dome the air quality, ozone, nitrogen dioxide, sulphur dioxide and carbon monoxide levels of five cities is recreated. Starting with the truly clean air of Tautra in Norway, the journey continues through the smog and pollution of London, New Dehli, Beijing and Sao Paolo.


The Pollution Pods were created by artist Michael Pinsky for the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, and commissioned to test whether art can really change people’s perceptions of, and actions around, climate change. With one in five children in London now having asthma, and over half their young counterparts in Delhi suffering with stunted lung development from which they will never recover, visitors are invited to experience the direct, physical result of Western consumerism on the pollution levels in countries across the world.


Much of this pollution is driven by the ever-increasing needs of capitalist consumerism and urban transport. And whilst much of the developed world still live in an environment with relatively clean air, the ill-effects of airborne toxins can now be seen not only across industrial centres such as China and India, but across many cities in the UK including London and Manchester.


The experience of walking through the Pollution Pods demonstrates that these worlds are interconnected and interdependent. Our need for ever cheaper goods is reflected in the ill health of many people in the world and in the ill-health of our planet as a whole.


Artist Michael Pinsky says: “In the Pollution Pods, I have tried to distil the whole bodily sense of being in each place.  For instance, being in São Paulo seems like a sanctuary compared to New Delhi, until your eyes start to water from the sensation of ethanol, whilst Tautra is unlike any air you’ll have ever breathed before, it is so pure.”


The installation is free of charge to attend.


The site for Pollution Pods has been generously supported by HMP & YOI Portland


With thanks to: BuildwithHubs, Airlabs , NTNU, IFF (International Flavours and Fragrances) , Aromaco, Kings College London, Arts Council England.




Press Contact

Lyndsey Harvey


07761 950260


For press tickets to the 28th June event, please email to request directly.


Listings Information

Portland, Stadium Bowl, Fortuneswell, Portland DT5 1LZ

Launch event 28 June, 5pm - 7pm BOOKING ESSENTIAL

Open to public 29 June - 1 July

10am - 7pm



2018 Press Coverage


The Guardian: London 'pollution pods' let you sample the smog in Beijing and Delhi


The Independent: Technology designed to clean air in schools and hospitals trialled in London 'pollution pods'


ITV News: It’s enough to make your eyes water


BBC Breakfast: Broadcast feature


BBC Radio 4 Today programme


Mashable: These ‘Pollution Pods’ Let You Sample the Worst and the Best Air Quality of Cities Around the World



About Michael Pinsky

Michael Pinsky is a British artist whose international projects have created innovative and challenging works in galleries and public spaces. He has undertaken many residencies that explore issues which shape and influence the use of our public realm. Taking the combined roles of artist, urban planner, activist, researcher, and resident, he starts residencies and commissions without a specified agenda, working with local people and resources, allowing the physical, social and political environment to define his working methodology.


His work has been shown at: TATE Britain; Museum of Contemporary Art, Chengdu; Saatchi Gallery; Victoria and Albert Museum; Institute for Contemporary Art, London; La Villette, Paris; BALTIC, Gateshead; Centre for Contemporary Art, Glasgow; Modern Art Oxford, Milton Keynes Gallery, Cornerhouse, Manchester; Liverpool Biennial, Centre de Création Contemporaine, Tours; Armory Center of the Arts, Los Angeles and the Rotterdam International Architectural Biennial.


Dr Michael Pinsky graduated from the Royal College of Art. He has received awards from the RSA, Arts Council England, British Council, Arts and Business, the Wellcome Trust and his exhibition Pontis was shortlisted for the prestigious Gulbenkian Museums Award.


About Pollution Pods

Two of the hardest aspects of communicating the facts of climate change are affecting both decision-making and behavioural change. Although researchers have explored visualizing climate change (Nicholson- Cole, 2005; Sheppard, 2005, 2012), research about the contribution of contemporary art to the topic has been scarce.  Climart is a four-year, multi-disciplinary research project run by a team of international researchers in psychology, natural science and the arts. The project is led by and housed at the Institute of Psychology at NTNU, Trondheim, Norway. Launched in 2014, the research is looking at the impact that emotive visual art may have on bridging the divide between scientific information and personal responsibility. This type of artwork may well be more effective not only on those who are already concerned about the issue, but on those who are not. 


About Cape Farewell

In 2001 the artist David Buckland created the Cape Farewell project to instigate a cultural response to the climate challenge. Cape Farewell is now an international not-for-profit programme based in Dorset, UK.


Working internationally, we bring creatives, scientists and informers together to stimulate a cultural narrative that will engage and inspire a sustainable and vibrant future society. Using creativity to innovate, we engage artists for their ability to evolve and amplify a creative language, communicating on a human scale the urgency of the global climate challenge.


Our complex societies have evolved dependent of fossil fuel for our energy. It is now proven that carbon dioxide and other emissions from the burning of these fuels is causing potentially devastating damage to our health, well being and our shared habitat. Our developing Cleantech industries can replace our dependency of fossil fuels and deliver a cleaner, healthier culture.


Cape Farewell asks the best of our creative minds to engage with this challenge and to build a vision for a sustainable future.



About b-side


b-side is an internationally recognised and locally loved arts organisation, producing unique, innovative and pioneering projects that connect artists with people and place.

There is a b-side festival every two years on the Isle of Portland bringing new, unique art to audiences from Dorset and beyond and sharing incredible stories about the Isle of Portland with the rest of the world. b-side is an Arts Council National Portfolio Organisation


Pollution Pods has been generously supported by the following organisations:

  • Airlabs
  • Arts Council England
  • Build With Hubs
  • Cape Farewell
  • International Flavors & Fragrances Ltd
  • King’s College London
  • Norwegian Research Council
  • Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU)
  • The Norwegian Institute of Air Research (NILU)
  • University of East London