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Brief Published: 4 Mar 2011

Smoke Rings


Big Vortex is a new art project by Berlin-based art studio Realities:United that visualises the CO2 emissions from a waste-to-energy processing plant in Denmark’s capital city, Copenhagen.

Each tonne of CO2 emitted by the plant’s chimneys will be released into the atmosphere as a 30 m diameter smoke ring. There are even plans for the smoke rings to be illuminated at night, displaying infographics about the pollution.

Jan Elder, co-founder of Realities:United, claims the piece aims to build awareness of the environmental impact of energy production. "These rings serve as a gentle reminder of the impact of consumption and a measuring stick that will allow the common Copenhagener to grasp CO2 emission in a straightforward way.”

The art installation is part of a proposal by BIG Architects, which won the commission to build a new waste-to-energy processing plant to replace the adjacent 40-year-old Amagerforbraending plant.

The project is Denmark’s single largest environmental initiative, with a budget of 3.5 billion Danish krone.