Polen In the Air

Nerea Calvillo

3 February 2014

Installation. Dimensions variable

Pollen in the Air is a project conceived to visualise pollen, one of the microscopic and invisible particles carried in the air. Pollen is understood as a kind of dust that contains plants’ masculine reproductive agents but also as a volatile chemical attractor that, once dispersed into the air, begins to form part of different ecologies defined by affinities (pollination by bees) and repulsions (like asthma) between insects, humans, winds, lichens and flowers, etc.

For this reason the visualisation places the spectator in the air, among clouds of pollen that come from the various species of trees in Gijón. The spectator can then explore the city through its pollinations, thus stimulating a sensorial relationship with this active dust.

Pollen in the Air is given a formal rendering in a webpage that can act as a tool for public information for people with asthma, but also as a way of knowing the city through its different species of vegetations and their rhythms of flowering. Besides the levels of concentration of pollen in real time, the project also wishes to bring to the surface the differences not only in terms of species, but also in their distribution throughout the city and over time. The project proposes an alternative way of understanding the ecology between plants and humans through inter-species intimacy with a view to constructing new “affective ecologies.”


Creation and design: Nerea Calvillo
Collaboration: Marina Fernández
Programming: Martín Nadal
In collaboration with: Sección de Vigilancia Epidemiológica.Dirección General de Salud Pública. Consejería de Sanidad. Gobierno del Principadode Asturias
Source of data for the trees: EMULSA/Ayuntamiento de Gijón
Produced by: LABoral Centro de Arte y Creación Industrial