WEATHER (UN)CONTROL BY MODU

By kristin

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MODU, “Dust Wall,” 2013

MODU, “Dust Wall,” 2013

Know your rights. Air rights, that is. That was the focus of Weather (Un)Control – an eye-opening installation by MODU presented by the Storefront for Art and Architecture as part of Marfa Dialogues/NY last week.

Ten percent of New York City buildings sustained storm damage from Hurricane Sandy but while the authorities focus their attention on rebuilding, there is one lingering effect that goes completely unnoticed: air contamination. Dust in Sandy-affected buildings – including asbestos, silica, and gypsum – lingers in the air and even worsens with the rebuilding that follows. With no government agencies monitoring indoor air quality, oversight has been left in the hands of insurance companies who rely on visual inspections and rooftop monitors to measure indoor and outdoor air quality.

To demonstrate the inefficacy of this approach, MODU designed an indoor weather system to literally shine a light on the invisible air contamination around the city. Using static electricity and air samples from the same sites as the EPA’s post-Sandy monitor locations in Brooklyn, Manhattan and Staten Island, the system generates “dust wall” drawings that only become visible under ultraviolet light. This is the air that New Yorkers are breathing. It’s time to take back our indoor “air rights.”

Photo credit: Brett Beyer

Photo credit: Brett Beyer

Photo credit: Brett Beyer

Photo credit: Brett Beyer

The principals behind MODU are no stranger to climatic installations. They were the brains behind the Exhale Pavilion, which you may remember as the glowing, shape-shifting open air installation at Art Basel Miami Beach in 2010. To see more of their work, visit http://moduarchitecture.com

 

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