Data, Art and Environmentalism Collide at Cooper Union

Data, Art and Environmentalism Collide at Cooper Union

Data visualization and art combine in EMISSIONS: Images from the Mixing Layer, a two-part exhibition at Cooper Union that rejects the use of natural gas as a sustainable form of energy.

With the sponsorship of Damascus Citizens for Sustainability, curators Ruth Hardinger and Rebecca Smith commissioned independent methane data company Gas Safety Inc. to measure the levels of methane gas emissions throughout Manhattan. Gas Safety Inc. found severe leakage of methane gas—a highly potent greenhouse gas that’s the main component of natural gas—throughout Manhattan’s four thousand miles of aging gas lines, some dating to the 1800s.

The result is a data visualization map that shows tall methane leakages, in red, all over Manhattan and rising high into the atmosphere.

Curator and participating artist Ruth Hardinger says natural gas is marketed so that people don’t understand its consequences. Methane gas, which is at the center of our national fracking controversy, traps much more heat than other... keep reading

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