Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

CleanTechnica
Chinese performance artist Brother Nut has all of Beijing talking about his repurposing of air pollutants into bricks for building.

Air Quality

Chinese Performance Artist Shows Creative Potential Of Air Pollutants

Chinese performance artist Brother Nut has all of Beijing talking about his repurposing of air pollutants into bricks for building.

Air pollution as an artistic medium? Who’d have thought. But Chinese performance artist Brother Nut (Wang Renzheng) turned collecting filthy air in Beijing, and then reforming the accumulated dust into building bricks, into an artistic act. He not only vividly illustrates the waste represented in that particulate matter, but also the potential for putting that material to positive use.

We covered Brother Nut’s “Project Dust” last week at sustainablog. Once you have a chance to read through the post below, share your thoughts on this performance, as well as the potential for practical application.

Chinese Artist Turns Beijing Smog Into Building Bricks

beijing smog

While we don’t address pollution a lot here at sustainablog, we probably should: most toxins and pollutants that end up in our air, soil, and water are the byproducts of wasteful processes. So, the particulates that create smog, for instance, come from incomplete combustion of fuels like gasoline and coal. And, as we’re seeing in Beijing lately, that kind of waste isn’t just academic: it dramatically impact the lives of millions of people.

Shenzhen-based performance artist Brother Nut decided that Beijing smog had potential as an artistic medium. So he spent one hundred days in the capital city literally collecting polluted air. He bought an industrial-strength vacuum, and walked around Beijing with it running, collecting airborne dust. He took this dust, mixed it with red clay, and made a brick.

Performance artists usually don’t get to the A list, but, apparently Brother Nut (who’s real name is Wang Renzheng) has made quite a name for himself in the Chinese capital. The brick has become a potent symbol for the impact of the country’s ugly air pollution, as well as the potential that exists in that wasted material.

While Brother Nut’s activity is largely symbolic, the People’s Daily notes that he does plan to advocate for scaling this activity up to create bricks for building. Obviously, that will take more than one man with a vacuum cleaner – even a particularly powerful one – but there are definitely precedents for this kind of technology.

Is this a good use of the waste material created from burning fossil fuels? I worry about it creating more demand for these fuels; at the same time, though, we are burning a lot of coal worldwide. We might as well put that waste to some use while we’re looking for better, cleaner ways to power ourselves. Got other thoughts? Share them with us in the comments. And many thanks to Becky Striepe for the heads up!

Photo credit: Shutterstock

Featured photo credit: designbydx via Shutterstock

 
 
 
Don't want to miss a cleantech story? Sign up for daily news updates from CleanTechnica on email. Or follow us on Google News!
 

Have a tip for CleanTechnica, want to advertise, or want to suggest a guest for our CleanTech Talk podcast? Contact us here.
Advertisement
 

Jeff McIntire-Strasburg is the founder and editor of sustainablog. You can keep up with all of his writing at Facebook, and at

Comments

You May Also Like

Climate Change

I urge people thinking about Flyvbjerg's work who are asking themselves, "But what about this critically important aspect of project success?," to not assume...

Batteries

But pledged investments can still be lost to America unless the EU ramps up incentives for the EV supply chain.

Climate Change

Absurdly predictable. Absurdly well predicted. Absurdly impactful. Ignored by virtually everyone. Gray rhino. But climate change isn't a gray rhino risk anymore. 

Cars

The transition to electric mobility is well underway around the world. Over 25 million electric cars have been sold over the last 14 or...

Copyright © 2023 CleanTechnica. The content produced by this site is for entertainment purposes only. Opinions and comments published on this site may not be sanctioned by and do not necessarily represent the views of CleanTechnica, its owners, sponsors, affiliates, or subsidiaries.