Performance artist sucks up particles into a brick
A performance artist has just finished a 100-day project to collectsmogin Beijing with a special vacuum cleaner.
“I have commissioned a factory in Tangshan, Hebei province, where workers will squeeze the pollution particles stored in the vacuum cleaner into a brick in the next two days,” said the founder of the project, who preferred to be identified as “Jianguo Xiongdi”.
“Then it will be used for construction in the future, just as any other building material.”
Air pollution levels in Beijing skyrocketed on Monday to more than 20 times the World Health Organization’s safe level. The former advertising manager, based in Shenzhen, Guangdong province, said that it was the striking numbers of PM 2.5 in the north that planted the seeds of his project.
“This is something I can do to call public attention to the fact that air pollution is really posing hazardous threats to human health.”
He started the project soon after he bought a suitable vacuum cleaner — “large enough to collect smog in Beijing”, he laughed.
The huge vacuum cleaner, with a capacity to absorb 1,000 cubic meters, cost him 6,800 yuan ($1,060).
He has collected smog in many places, including Tian’anmenSquare and at the door of the Ministry of Environmental Protection, usually for four hours a time, even on days “when the government suggested residents stay inside as smog levels soar”.
“The most interesting part of the project is people’s feedback — some passers-by thought I was a real cleaner. I have even met people who inquired about the price of cleaning a three-bedroom apartment using my vacuum cleaner.”
He asked passers-by to take photos for him, and then posted on a micro blog every time he went out to collect smog.
This is something I can do to call public attention to the ... threats to human health.”