Amy Balkin
2010 Fellow

Amy Balkin is a cross-disciplinary artist working in San Francisco.  Using a high level of research and social critique, Amy initiates critical conversations about the modern world in which we exist.  Her recent projects include Public Smog, Invisible-5 and This is the Public Domain.

Public Smogis a park in the atmosphere that fluctuates in location and scale. The park is constructed through financial, legal, or political activities that open it for public use. Activities to create the park have included purchasing and retiring emission offsets in regulated emissions markets and making them inaccessible to polluting industries.When Public Smog is built through this process, it exists in the unfixed public airspace above the region where offsets are purchased and withheld from use. The park’s size varies, reflecting the amount of emissions allowances purchased and the length of contract, compounded by seasonal fluctuations in air quality.  Public Smog opened over California’s South Coast Air Quality Management District in 2004, and over the European Union in 2007.

Other activities to create Public Smog impact the size, location, and duration of the park. These activities include an attempt to submit Earth’s atmosphere for inscription on UNESCO’s World Heritage List.