HeHe – Plane Jam

6th - 21st May 2011

Norwich and Norfolk Festival, UK

An installation created by internationally acclaimed artists Helen Evans and Heiko Hansen, collectively known as HeHe, involved an unmanned aircraft entering the lower airspace of the city of Norwich in May 2011, targeting the consciences of the people beneath it. 

Aeroplane emissions are invisible. Only microscopic water droplets  – the non-toxic part of the emissions – can be seen as plane contrails. High up in the stratosphere air travel seems in harmony with our world. Only during take off and landing are we aware of the noise and  pollution. Parisian artist partnership HeHe added more planes above Norwich; quieter and smaller than their giant cousins, travelling between buildings emitting their own imitation trails. ‘Plane Jam’ comments on the increasing numbers of planes in our skies and low-cost flight  culture.

‘Plane Jam’ was sited in the centre of Norwich, visible to thousands of pedestrians who were able to take in a series of remote controlled emissions at various times throughout the day. These highly visible emissions drew attention to the high-cost of low-cost air travel that is damaging our fragile atmosphere, as well as the envelope of gases surrounding the earth.

The project was conceived during the artists’ residency at the Environmental Sciences Department at the University of East Anglia, Norwich, collaborating with Peter Brimblecombe and drawing from the work of Professor Frank Kelly on how air pollution affects the air we breathe. In addition, the work was also inspired by discussions with researchers, in the aftermath of the Icelandic Eyjafjöll volcano eruption.

Image: © HeHe, Plane Jam, May 2011. Photo Simon Steven.


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