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Cinematic Air Pollution Device

1967 Rotterdam, Netherlands

This proposed expanded cinema installation was an outdoor projection screen on which projected 35mm movies would materialize in smoke and steam. Mounted high on a steel frame, the approximately 6 m x 4 m screen was a shallow box construction with transparent PVC on one surface and translucent PVC on the other. Smoke and steam could be pumped into the box between these two membranes. Chimney-like ducts at the top would let the smoke and steam out.

The system was designed for projected film to be directed at the transparent screen surface. When viewed from that side, the image would materialize in 3-D on the steam and smoke. When the screen was viewed from the other side, which appeared as a back projection surface for the projected image, the steam and smoke would create shadowy patterns within the moving imagery.

In the original proposal diagrams the installation was described as a “Smoke Projection Screen: A Public Entertainment”. The films to be projected on it were “historical epics in color, old Hollywood musicals, newsreels of natural disasters such as floods and earthquakes [and] abstract films such as those by Moholy-Nagy and Hans Richter”.