During Hurricane Sandy, ten percent of New York City buildings sustained storm damage. As the post-Sandy rebuilding continues, one installation is highlighting a hidden risk: indoor air pollution.
Weather (Un)Control was an installation on display by architecture firm MODU this past November that featured an indoor weather system as part of the Marfa Dialogues/NY. Using artificial dust and static electricity, Weather (Un)Control formed a “dust wall” that created drawings only visible under black light. The exhibit aimed to show how many health risks – including indoor air contaminants like mold and dust – go overlooked following extreme weather events.
The installation, interestingly enough, suggests that while air contaminants in buildings — including asbestos, silica, and gypsum — were caused by Sandy, they are also significantly heightened by the “clean up” effort as well. The charged dust particles of Weather (Un)Control draw attention to the “inefficiency of visual inspection” that results in air quality testing being overlooked by insurance companies. Based on both composition and particle count of the represented air samples, Weather (Un)Control’s air quality drawings display the usually invisible nature of air contamination following extreme weather like hurricanes.