Kim Abeles - Smog Series

Roosevelt Smog Plate Bush Smog Plate

Reagan Smog Plate McKinley Smog Plate

Carter Smog Plate Hoover Smog Plate
Install Overview

"Give us this day" Table Detail


Kim Abeles

The London Globe printed a new word "Smog," coined in a speech at the 1905 Public Health Congress. They considered it a public service to describe this phenomenon. Nearly one hundred years later we possess, yet avoid using, the technology to correct 95% of the pollution legacy.

The Smog Collectors materialize the reality of the air we breathe. They achieve their potency most effectively when the image contradicts their substance. Thus, my process is a private retaliation brought to public attention.

I place stencil images on transparent or opaque materials, then leave these on the roof of my studio and let the particulate matter in the heavy air fall upon them. When the stencil is removed, the images reveal themselves. To quote a stranger, they are "footprints of the sky". Since the worst in our air can't be seen, Smog Collectors are both literal and metaphoric depictions of the current conditions of our life source. They are reminders of our industrial decisions: the road we took that seemed so modern.
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 Last Updated On: 1/13/06