Project Dust, Materialising pollution weight


Looking at western news and commentaries, Beijing often looks like the Los Angeles depicted in Blade Runner, with an unbearably high level of pollution that has at times pushed authorities to forbid people from leaving their homes. The Chinese performance artist Brother Nut has staged a performance Project Dust. For one hundred days the artist walked around Beijing landmarks with an industrial vacuum cleaner, vacuuming the air. He then mixed the accumulated dust with red clay to create a brick. His gesture is not only symbolic, materialising the “weight” of pollution in the environment, but satirical, in that he believes that there is enough dust to produce bricks to build the biggest “environmental protection bureau”. It’s also significant that some spectators believed the artist was a new type of street sweeper. This shows not only the perspective of the current public imaginary, but also attests to how well art can intervene in this imaginary, breaking into new perspectives.


Turns Out You Can Make a Brick From China’s Smog