This charming billboard-poem pays homage to the chemical element of air, and with its titanium particles, cleanses it, ennobling the environmental functions of technology and air.
This billboard honors air with a poem and, literally, purifies it /
I write in praise of air. I was six or five
when a conjurer opened my knotted fist
and I held in my palm the whole of the sky.
I've carried it with me ever since.
Ingenuity and creativity are transformation’s powerful driving forces. Humans have intervened in our surroundings to improve it, however, this notion, combined with a culturally unblemished individualism, has put the environment in a state of constant threat.
Today, perhaps as a call for survival, the environment has been at the center of innumerable discussions and a series of strategies and projects have made it their main concern. This mission requires the collaboration of different fields, like science, technology, art and, in general, creative innovation. An example of this is the monumental poem erected at the side of a building, in Sheffield University, in Northern England. It resembles a common billboard, perhaps advertising a specific product or service. But when we contemplate it attentively, we find an ode to air, unfolded with a simple and inspiring poem by British poet Simon Armitage, “In Praise of Air”.
The poem is an artistic intervention that defies the format (and purpose) of commercial advertisements. Its letters elegantly pay homage to air in a glimmer of aesthetics and inspiring persuasion, but the poster has another function which responds to the object it pays homage to. Made with titanium dioxide, the poem cleans the air, more or less the equivalent to 20 cars a day, which endows it with a notable transformative quality. Additionally, this work is self-cleaning, through a system that captures rainwater.
Every intervention made in our everyday surrounding has the potential of improving the environment, perhaps this is the best lesson of these two projects. Probably through the mutation of the paradigm, in a few years our shoes will be producing energy or cleaning our carbon footprint. The key seems to be in collectively imagining a future that combines, ethically and creatively, the elements we have at our disposal to edit our world.Tagged: pollution, nature, air, environment