Pollution Allures

For many creatures, gossip and exchange emerge in the form of smelt signals and chemical chatter, where smells carry information, warnings, love and danger. As human-made-chemicals flux within environments, these chemical languages are shifting beyond recognition. Floral scents are altered by smog, metallic soils confuse communication across plant roots, whilst stinky landfills are diverting bird migration routes. Meanwhile, some creatures and plants are learning to seek the stink of toxins, drawing them within their bodies. 𝑷𝒐𝒍𝒍𝒖𝒕𝒊𝒐𝒏 𝑨𝒍𝒍𝒖𝒓𝒆𝒔 assembles plants that drink heavy metals, feed on petrochemicals, gather in the shadows of waste incinerators, and across nitrogen rich road verges. These plants form a 𝒄𝒉𝒊𝒎𝒆𝒓𝒂𝒍 𝒈𝒂𝒓𝒅𝒆𝒏 of chemical chatter between the toxic and vegetal, collaborating to reorder and reroute waste worlds.

Whilst some plants are learning new (synthetic) chemical languages, humans are loosing their ability to smell within polluted airs. The smell-absorbing bed of the installation forms a respite and pallet cleanser for overworked noses, straining to smell pollution altered allures.

11:00 minute stereo sound, performative installation.

part of BECOMING GEOLOGICAL at V2_Lab for the Unstable Media, Rotterdam, 2022. Curated by Martin Howse and Florian Weigl.