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Particle Falls

Pick: Particle Falls

Details: Projected nightly on the side of the UNC Charlotte Center City building, Friday, March 4 – Saturday, April 23, dusk to dawn.

Viewpoint: Most of the time air is invisible; we seem to consciously notice it only when it is so filled with smoke or dust (like this) that we can’t help but cringe as we suck it up. But even visibly clear air can contain particle pollution that, while microscopic, may pose even greater health threats than the pollution we actually can see. Particle Falls, a public art installation by New Mexico-based artist/scientist Andrea Polli, makes that fine particulate matter visible to the naked eye. Appearing as a waterfall-like cascade of light, the large-scale animated projection is generated with specialized software that visually translates in real time the particulate matter readings from a nephelometer, a scientific instrument that gathers data about air pollution.  Particle Falls has been in American and European cities – San Diego, Pittsburgh (pictured above), Philadelphia, Zagreb, and most recently in Paris during COP 21, the United Nations Climate Change Conference. Clean Air Carolina and the UNC Charlotte College of Arts + Architecture are bringing it to Charlotte as part of KEEPING WATCH on AIR, a two-month project that unites art, science, and journalism to address local air quality and tree canopy issues. 

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