The Aftermath of the Plume: Understanding Air Quality through Citizen Science

The Aftermath of the Plume: Understanding Air Quality through Citizen Science
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Date(s) - 04/29/2023
1:00 pm - 2:30 pm

The Sculpture Center



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Environmental factors and air quality play a key role in our health as individuals and communities now more than ever before. In a city that draws travelers from around the world for its top-notch healthcare, Cleveland residents are suffering from serious ailments caused by long term exposure to air pollutants. Residents of neighborhoods adversely affected by social injustices face additional environmental health obstacles. The people of Cleveland and rustbelt cities like it must now contend with the health problems they face as a result of living amidst drivers of the manufacturing industry.


Sparked by artist Erin Mallea’s exhibition Permissible Dose at The Sculpture Center, Whitnye Long Jones, Director of Community Engagement at Ohio City Incorporated, and Abhishek Viswanathan, a Pittsburgh based researcher, will engage audiences in ways residents of Cleveland and rustbelt cities alike can work towards making a healthier city for themselves and their communities.


Erin Mallea’s exhibition, Permissible Dose, investigates the visual, auditory, and olfactory experiences of living in proximity to industrial pollution. Developed from conversations with grassroots environmental activists and watchdogs monitoring industrial sites, the show explores how the body acts as a sensor, alarm, and site of chemical and environmental entanglements.

Read more about Permissible Dose here.


Prior to the discussion, Erin Mallea will lead guided tours of her exhibition Permissible Dose. The tours are at 12:30PM and 12:45PM.


About the Speakers:

Whitnye Long Jones  is the Director of Community Engagement at Ohio City Incorporated and is passionate about nature and the environmental health of people residing in neighborhoods adversely affected by social injustices. Currently, Mrs. Long Jones participates as a board supervisor for the Cuyahoga Soil and Water Conservation District, is a member of the Cuyahoga River Area of Concern Advisory Committee, and has contributed to clean and renewable energy reports and policy platforms developed by the City of Cleveland Office of Sustainability and the Ohio Environmental Council.


Abhishek Viswanathan is a PhD student on an F1 visa breathing the air and drinking the water in Pittsburgh, PA. He is interested in exploring ways to give people the resources they need to understand and address environmental issues through collaborative research. He is untangling the connections between various entities (non-profits, government agencies, universities, residents) who work on air quality issues in Pittsburgh and is tired of appealing to entrenched systems to effect change. His research focuses on deploying low-cost air quality monitoring networks and activating local data through collaborative storytelling and art.


Erin Mallea is a multidisciplinary artist based in Pittsburgh, PA. Her practice explores the past and present of particular microcosms as entry points into larger environmental, social, and political conditions. She has exhibited at galleries, museums and DIY spaces nationally and internationally, advocated for the ethical memorialization of a historic oak tree, and sent vibrations from a giant fungus throughout the atmosphere. She holds a MFA from Carnegie Mellon University.


Accessibility note: This conversation will take place in the Euclid Avenue Community Space, which is located in a historic building that is accessible via a cobblestone path and requires a single step down into the space. The bathrooms in this building are not wheelchair accessible. Wheelchair accessible restrooms are available in the Main Building.