Interactive Climate Art on Pollution Caused by Cigarette Buds

In mid 2000s, researchers from the US Environmental Protection Agency discovered that a cigarette butt—the most common litter in the world—pollutes 500 litres of water and creates toxic waste that kills 50% of all small sea creatures and fish in one litre water. As often is the case, scientific evidence and statistics rarely connect with people at an emotional level to shake them out of inaction. But a Dutch artist, Thijs Biersteker, transformed the same scientific data into a powerful art, the impact was felt by the viewers. The interactive art installation called Pollutive Ends is a system of transparent tubes that is fed polluted water through an algorithmic driven pumping system.



Biersteker has another extraordinary climate art to his credit. Last year, he strapped sensors on a tree’s roots, leaves and branches. The sensors monitored environmental conditions such as CO2 level, temperature, soil moisture, light level, etc. Such 1600 data points were fed to an algorithm and the result was hypnotic digital rings created every second that were created by the tree.

Pollutive Ends is part of the exhibition “Continuous Refle(a)ction”, an exhibition on eco-art, environmental protection and sustainability initiated by the Riverside Art Museum and Morcreate.Ltd, supported by Wild Aid and the Alashan Foundation.


Pollutive Ends (2019) | Artist: Thijs Biersteker | Electronics: Thijs Biersteker, Bas van Oerle & Kees Plattel | Technical Build :  Thijs Biersteker, Here you art | Head of Production: Sophie de Krom | Production: Woven Studio | Commissioned by: Beijing Riverside Art Museum & Morcreate.Ltd


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