Parts-per-Million (planetary aspirations)

2020

installation view
installation detail
installation detail
installation view
lab notebook


 

                                                                                                     (( .((Breath)). ))

 

Parts-per-million (planetary aspirations) is about the air we breathe every moment.  We exhale carbon dioxide naturally from our bodies, but also pump it out by the gigaton from our cars, factories, and power plants the world over. Through the physiological aspirations of our breathing we connect directly to the planet’s carbon cycle; at the same time, through the economic aspirations of our fossil-fueled culture, we radically alter the composition of the air, those gigatons of carbon dioxide contributing to a global warming that radically threatens the stability of the climate we all rely upon.   

 

While the total amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is tiny – measured in parts-per-million – its effects on our planet’s health and all of our well-being are profound. This artwork is a way to visualize the changes we are making the air itself – molecule by molecule – and the planet-sized impact that these changes will have for all life for generations to come.  In the 200 years since the Industrial Revolution, we have increased the amount of carbon dioxide in our atmosphere from 280 parts-per-one-million air molecules to 415 parts-per-million. A deceptively small change that will will bring about untold transformation.

Interview about the piece + profile from the exhibition (PDF)

 

lab notebook

415 red dots representing the 415 carbon dioxide inordinately influential molecules (per-million other molecules) that compose the planet's atmosphere