The Ethics of Dust is a series of artworks resulting from the peeling of pollution from monuments around the world. Each peeled cast contains a piece of the polluted atmosphere as deposited on a particular monument over time. Taken together, the series of casts show us the atmosphere as a cultural and architectural material creating its own new history, that of pollution’s past and future effect on the environment. The Ethics of Dust invite us to consider atmospheric pollution as a cultural object accompanying our civilization’s transition into the future, and to imagine ways we might change its course.
Jorge Otero-Pailos works at the intersection of art, architecture and preservation. He is Director and Professor of Historic Preservation at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture in New York. His work has been commissioned and exhibited by major museums, foundations and biennials notably, the Artangel Trust, the 53rd Venice Art Biennial, Victoria and Albert Museum, Louis Vuitton Museum La Galerie, Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary, The Chicago Architecture Biennial, and the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts.
He is the founder and editor of the journal Future Anterior, co-editor of Experimental Preservation (2016), author of Architecture’s Historical Turn (2010) and contributor to scholarly journals and books including the Oxford Encyclopedia of Aesthetics and Rem Koolhaas’ Preservation Is Overtaking Us (2014). He is a member of the Academy of Arts and Sciences of Puerto Rico, the Academy of Science and Culture of Ibero-America, and has received awards from major art, architecture and preservation organizations including the 2012 the UNESCO Eminent Professional Award, the American Institute of Architects, the Kress Foundation, the Graham Foundation, the Fitch Foundation, and the Canadian Center for Architecture. Otero-Pailos studied architecture at Cornell University and holds a PhD from MIT, and was a founding faculty member of the School of Architecture at the Polytechnic University of Puerto Rico.