Breathe Deep the Gathering Gloom

When an art show about air quality invites a research scientist from Intel, expect more than watercolors -- especially if he's the guy behind the notorious I-Bomb, a mobile device that emits an electromagnetic pulse and disables all electronics in its range. Although we aren't entirely sure what Eric Paulos, a sometime-collaborator with Survival Research Laboratories' Mark Pauline, is offering at "Vapor" -- his description is about as clear as a white paper -- we do know it involves something about "sensing our natural environment" using "mobile networked sensors." Other contributors at the group show -- which is really about air quality -- include David Benjamin and Soo-In Yang, who offer The Living City, a prototype building skin that "breathes" (or opens and closes its gills) in response to air conditions. There's also Public Smog, an invisible, airborne public park that is created by "purchasing and retiring emission offsets in regulated emissions markets," according to its Web site, the reading of which is not at all a walk in the park. Preemptive Media takes a more user-friendly, straightforward approach, handing out portable air-monitoring devices so people can check pollution in their own neighborhoods, as do the Futurefarmers, who are setting up a temporary bike-share program. The art at "Vapor" is matched by a series of six public programs that take place weekends throughout the run of the show; this Saturday, Preemptive Media's Beatriz da Costa and Jamie Schulte appear at 2 p.m., and Eric Paulos appears at 1 p.m. on March 29.
March 14-May 3, 2008

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