The stink that makes you think: Pollution Pods

An art installation at Somerset House in London lets visitors experience the air of some pollution hotspots in the world.
Michael Pinksy is the artist behind this art work. Visitors can walk in the ‘pods’ and will experience different polutions.

New Delhi: the suffocating smell of old cars and industry. São Paulo: enough ethanol to make your eyes water. And in London, a scent called Living Diesel.

Those are the dominant notes of those cities’ contaminated air, according to an “artist’s approximation” that aims to raise awareness of the problem of pollution around the world.

Jorg Hempenius from Iscent created this scents. The scents that Jorg has created for our project are not necessarily pleasant ones, because the artwork is about human impacts on the environment. Some of the smells also occur naturally while others are completely man-made, but the reason the selected smells are featured so prominently in the locations we have selected for the pollution pods is due to human behavior in every case.

Visitors begin in Tautra in Norway, breathing in clean smelling air and then continuing through to the cities of London, New Delhi, Beijing and São Paulo which between them suffer from some of the lowest air quality in the world.

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