Chih Chuh, Voyage on the Planet, model Weilin Wang

Space to Breathe

Creative action in response to our city’s air pollution crisis

28 & 29 Jan 2017
River Rooms
New Wing

What collective action can we take to make our cities less congested, cleaner and more energy efficient?

Join us for a weekend of installations, performances, talks and workshops highlighting the impact of air pollution on our health. Central London is regularly above legally recognised health limits for air pollution. We will redesign our city’s environment, demonstrating that it can be a Utopian space, and discuss the ambitious and innovative plans already being implemented across the globe to alleviate the drivers and negative effects of air pollution on our health.


Breathing Mephitic Air, Wesley Goatley 
28 & 29 Jan, River Rooms (Free, drop in)

Experience a new commission by Wesley Goatley inspired by the pioneering work of The Environmental Research Group at King’s College London, a leading provider of air quality information and research in the UK. This audiovisual installation and series of performances explore new ways to experience and understand air pollution and data.

Energy Renaissance, Cape Farewell, Hammerhead VR and Shrinking Space
28 & 29 Jan, River Rooms (Free, drop in)

Test out this virtual reality dreamscape in which a young girl ignites environmental change around one of the most polluted corners of London. 

Solar Sound System
28 & 29 Jan, River Terrace (Free, drop in)

Coming to join us via Paris, Tokyo and Brazil and COP22 in Marrakech, Solar Sound System demonstrates through the power of disco that everyone can rise to the challenge to demonstrate the power of renewables. Come and join in to keep the party going!

Lungs, Dave Farnham
28 & 29 Jan, River Rooms (Free, drop in)

Dave Farnham will present his award-winning works, three 3D printed lungs and ribs of Caroline - a woman who recovered from Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. The works highlight the fragility of the body and our capacity to fight pollution with our own physiological technology.

‘Our lungs breathe in and out 23,000 times a day, and each one of us needs just eight Sycamore trees’ worth of oxygen each year. But if a city has demonstrated an inability to provide clean air for its citizens, it is London.’

Rhizome 2.0, Emily Godden & Audit Chaos
29 Jan, River Rooms (Free, drop in)
Put on a headset and step foot into a virtual forest with Emily Godden & Audit Chaos. The artist will discuss to what extent our reality is blended between the actual and virtual, as we recycle digital and physical elements into a hyperreal landscape saturated by information.

Voyage on the Planet, Chih Chiu 
28 & 29 Jan, River Rooms (Free, drop in)

Chih Chiu will take to the streets of London with a number of people wearing his art work, positioning themselves in some of London’s most polluted of spaces, challenging onlookers to think about what is in the air they are breathing.  

Breath Control: Sounding Scape, Caroline Wright
28 Jan, River Rooms (Free, drop in)

Caroline Wright will collect a single vocalised note from passersby, investigating the inhalations and exhalations that form the melody, rhythm and punctuation of our everyday existence.

Workshops with London Environmental Research Group
28 & 29 Jan, River Rooms (Free, drop in)

Take part a series of workshops with the King’s College Environmental Research Group to find out your lung capacity, and how to avoid the polluting hotspots of London. Learn more about the research leading the charge against the air pollution crisis in London, and what you can do to be a part of the change.

Tension in the Air
28 & 29 Jan, River Terrace 

Having made its unsanctioned debut in Parliament Square earlier this year, the Greenpeace-commissioned Mary Poppins installation piece will be suspended above the River Terrace for the duration of the weekend as an example of impactful creative responses to the capital’s air pollution crisis.

The CleanAir Bench
28 & 29 Jan, River Terrace 

The CleanAir bench, by Copenhagen-based company Airlabs, removes pollutants from the air and delivers clean air back for users to breathe. For urbanites, the CleanAir bench provides an opportunity to take a seat and give both their legs and their lungs a break from the daily grind of city living. 

Artists in conversation will take place each day, along with public talks exploring Green Energy, Advocacy and Policy, Technology, and Behaviour Change, led by David Buckland of Cape Farewell and Shrinking Space.
28 & 29 Jan, 13.00 - 13.30
Free, drop in (limited capacity)

Artists in conversation.
28 Jan, 15.00 - 16.00
Free, drop in (limited capacity)
Join speakers Tessa Blazey, Director of Engagement for Tidal Lagoon PowerElliot TreharneAir Quality Manager at Greater London Authority and Ian Mudway, Lecturer in Respiratory Toxicology, Lung Biology Group, King’s College London Environmental Research Group.

29 Jan, 15.00 - 16.00
Free, drop in (limited capacity)

Join speakers Harriet Edwards, Public Affairs and Policy Officer for The British Lung Foundation, Simon Alcock, Communications and Public Affairs Manager at ClientEarth, and Ian Mudway, Lecturer in Respiratory Toxicology at King’s College London Environmental Research Group.


Curated by Cape Farewell and Shrinking Space, in partnership with King’s College London’s Environmental Research Group.

Supported by: Arts Council England, The Physiological Society, King’s College London Environmental Research Group; Somerset House; King's College London Cultural Programming.

Virtual Reality equipment kindly supplied by Virtual Reality HIRE.