Most of the pollution in our cities is invisible. We can smell it, feel it, and on occasion (thanks smog!) see it, but visualizing the extent to which grit and fumes blanket our cities is difficult to do. Dmitry Morozov, a media artist living in Moscow, created a contraption that sniffs out pollution in the air and turns it into glitch art.
The project began after Morozov was pondering how to turn air data into art. “I wondered, what can I do with sensors, a small printer and the polluted air in Moscow?” says Morozov. He built his portable, Bluetooth-connected device out of sensors that measure dust and various gases like CO (carbon monoxide), CO2 (carbon dioxide), HCHO (formaldehyde), and CH4 (methane). The sensors translate air data into volts, and an Arduino algorithmically translates those volts into the shapes and colors you’re seeing.