New public art exhibit aims to highlight Raleigh pollution

(Clean Air Carolina)

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — When the sun goes down in downtown Raleigh you might see what looks like a waterfall of light cascading over one of the buildings.

The projection onto a Hargett Street building is a real-time interpretation of air pollution readings in Raleigh.

It’s called “Particle Falls,” and the goal of the project is to “make air visible.” It is presented by artist and scientist Andrea Polli.

When the stream of light changes color, it’s reflecting a change in particulates that you can’t normally see. The particulates are measured with a device called a nephelometer, which is attached to a building nearby. Sponsors of the project say they want to raise awareness about what particulates are and what they can do.


“That is actually a health hazard. When we inhale that kind of pollution it can get embedded in our lungs and can cause health impacts, long-term health impacts like asthma, or lung or heart disease, or even premature death,” said Paige Donnelly of Novozymes, one of the companies supporting the project.

“Particle Falls” is a travelling art installation. It was in Charlotte last year and will be in Raleigh through April 23. The Raleigh sponsors are Clean Air Carolina, NC Clean Energy Technology Center, Growth Energy, Empire Properties, Novozymes, and NC Department of Transportation.

“We really just want people to take a moment and consider, when they think about pollution, ‘What can I do to make an impact?’” said Donnelly.

If you’d like to see how you can reduce air pollution, click here for information about renewable energy.

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