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Particle Falls Winston-Salem

February 22 @ 7:00 pm - March 24 @ 11:00 pm


PARTICLE FALLS is an animated light projection on the side of the UNC School of the Arts Stevens Center in Winston-Salem that reveals the invisible dangers in the air you are breathing. It is a dramatic public work that raises awareness of the presence and impact of particle pollution.

PARTICLE FALLS will be projected onto the western wall of the UNC School of the Arts Stevens Center and can be seen from many locations in downtown Winston-Salem. For best viewing, visit the corner of West 4th Street and Spruce Street every evening from February 22 – March 24 beginning at dusk. The event is free and open to the public.


The PARTICLE FALLS animation is generated by translating real-time particulate matter data from the surrounding air on the corner of West 4th Street, using specialized computer software designed by the artist Andrea Polli. The particulate sensing is done using a nephelometer, a scientific instrument that takes in air samples and gathers data about the concentration of particle pollution. A computer program transforms the particulate data into visual bursts of bright color over a background of falling blue light. The more dots of color you see, the more particles there are in the air you’re breathing. The visualization updates with new air data in real time.

Notice what happens to PARTICLE FALLS when a diesel-powered or gasoline vehicle comes along. Compare that to a passing bicycle. How about an idling car? Or compare the number of particles on a clear day versus a hazy day. Wind patterns will also make unexpected real-time changes. This work emphasizes the fragility and unstable nature of our Earth’s atmosphere and the human role in increasing that instability.



February 22 @ 7:00 pm
March 24 @ 11:00 pm
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Clean Air Carolina


UNC School of the Arts Stevens Center
405 4th St NW
Winston-Salem, NC 27101 United States
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