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Underground/Overground: Z33

Art and Radioactive Waste Storage in Belgium, 17 November 2017, Z33 House of Contemporary Art, Hasselt, Belgium

The Nuclear Culture Roundtables consider issues of the Nuclear Anthropocene and the problems of creating nuclear waste, the difficulty of communicating or marking contaminated sites for future generations, and the question of designing infrastructures for a deep time future.  The Underground/Overground round table focuses on the specific situation of nuclear waste management in Belgium.  It includes artists participating in the Z33 Nuclear Culture programme, architects, philosophers, anthropologists, and sociologists along with stakeholders and NGO’s, researchers from the Belgian Nuclear Waste Management project, and a group of students researching deep time communication within the Z33 education programme. With visual reporting by Pieter Fannes.

A: Citizen Science and Participation 21st Century Chair: Anne Bergmans: with artists Thomson & Craighead; Bridget Kennedy; Dirk Somers Architects; members of NIRAS/ONDRAF, Mona and Stora; and people engaged in participatory design, activism and community engagement in scientific projects. Rapporteur: Ciel Grommen

B: Deep time communication through Intergenerational relay Chair: Jasmine De Bruycker: with artists Cécile Massart, Dave Griffiths, Maarten Vanden Eynde; along with Christophe Depaus NIRAS/ONDRAF the Belgian Agency for Radioactive Waste and Enriched Fissile Material; Mona and Stora; and people engaged in communicating knowledge over one or two generations. Rapporteur: Sigrid Eeckhout

C: Deep time communication through long term projection Chair: Robert Williams: with artists Alice and David Bertizzolo, Alexis Destoop, Andy Weir; along with Maarten Van Geet, NIRAS/ONDRAF; Mona and Stora; and Jean-Noel Dumont ANDRA, the French Agency for radioactive waste storage; and people engaged in communicating knowledge into the deep future. Rapporteur: Regine Debatty

Perpetual Uncertainty: Z33

Perpetual Uncertainty – Art and the Nuclear AnthropoceneZ33 House for Contemporary Art, Hasselt, Belgium, 17 September –  10 December 2017

The exhibition brings together international artists from across Europe, the USA and Japan to investigate experiences of nuclear technology, radiation and the complex relationship between knowledge and deep time. Launch party features commissioned DJ set Sonic Radiations by MeteorMusik.

Curated by Ele Carpenter: “The nuclear anthropocene describes how man-made radiation has contaminated the earth, forming a mark of human activity that will last for hundreds of thousands of years. Whilst 20th century fallout provides a time-stamp of the first nuclear age from nuclear weapons testing; the 21st century repositories for high-level radioactive waste will physically create a new geologic layer in the earth’s fossil record for over 100,000 years. Looking beyond the modernist vision of a utopian nuclear age, contemporary artists are engaging with the lived experience of radiation through nuclear objects, architectures and landscapes. They are investigating new forms of nuclear vernacular, folklore and rethinking the markers and archives of the nuclear anthropocene.

Z33 present the exhibition in their beautiful 18th century beguinage building, a series of interlinking rooms on two sides of a courtyard. Hasselt is a town in the Flemish (Dutch) speaking part of Belgium, which also includes the Belgian Radioactive Waste Research Centre, SCK-CEN, the HADES Underground Research Lab at Mol, and the radioactive waste storage site at Dessel. We have worked closely with the waste agency for a couple of years to arrange site visits and roundtable discussions with artists, and to engage the wider community with the exhibition.”

Approaching Sellafield

Sellafield, 23 January 2017

Ele Carpenter (Goldsmiths University/Arts Catalyst) and Dave Griffiths travelled with producer Beatrice Pickup and presenter Gordon Young to the Greycroft Stone Circle and Sellafield nuclear site, Cumbria, UK to record for a BBC Radio 4 documentary, Radioactive Art, scheduled for broadcast on 2 March 2017.  Read Ele’s full report on the Nuclear Cultures blog.

 

Art & Deep Time Radiation: Umeå

Roundtable Discussion, Bildmuseet, Umeå University, Sweden, 19 November 2016

A discussion about art and the deep time of radiation to accompany the Perpetual Uncertainty exhibition. Short presentations by artists and nuclear scholars will take place in the Bildmuseet Flexi-hall, followed by a series of small roundtable discussions bringing together a range of disciplinary perspectives on the nuclear, including artists and people working on the long-term storage of radioactive waste in Europe. The event is inspired by James Acord’s roundtable that he built in his Hanford studio, USA 1999, to bring together environmentalists and people from the nuclear industry to discuss the clean up of the Hanford site.

Introduced by Ele Carpenter and chaired by John O’Brian, with Roundtable facilitators in Bildmuseet and HumLab: Thomson & CraigheadDeep Time Consultation, Jantine SchröderRemote Sensing Radiation, Susan Schuppli; Nuclear Anthropocene, Peter C van Wyck; Intergenerational responsibility, Johan SwahnCamera Atomica: Radiation and Photography, John O’Brian; Deep Time Microfiche, Dave Griffiths.

Invited participants will include artists, film-makers, activists, policy makers, professionals engaged in nuclear research and radioactive waste management. In addition members of the public with an interest in nuclear issues, deep time, art and radiation will be able to buy tickets online.

Perpetual Uncertainty: Umeå

Bildmuseet, Umeå, Sweden, 2 October 2016- 16 April 2017

Perpetual Uncertainty / Contemporary Art in the Nuclear Anthropocene brings together artists from Europe, Japan, the USA and Australia to investigate experiences of nuclear technology, radiation and the complex relationship between knowledge and the deep time.

The artworks explore how nuclear weapons and nuclear power has influenced our interpretation of concepts such as archives, memory, knowledge and time. How can we understand and visualise the ungraspable timeframe of radioactive half-life? How can we archive and communicate knowledge about radioactivity from generation to generation, hundreds of thousands of years into the future?

Curated by Ele Carpenter (Goldsmiths/Arts Catalyst), with artists: James Acord, Shuji Akagi, Lise Autogena & Joshua Portway, Erich Berger and Mari Keto, Nick Crowe and Ian Rawlinson, Don’t Follow the Wind, Finger Pointing Worker, Dave Griffiths, Isao Hashimoto, Erika Kobayashi, David Mabb, Cécile Massart, Eva and Franco Mattes, Yelena Popova, Susan Schuppli, Shimpei Takeda, Kota Takeuchi, Thomson & Craighead, Suzanne Treister, Andy Weir, Robert Williams and Bryan McGovern Wilson, and Ken + Julia Yonetani.

The exhibition includes a programme of films, open discussions and talks by researchers and experts. The film programme presents art films, documentaries and feature film by Todd Chandler, Jeff Stark, Eva and Franco Mattes, Merilyn Fairskye, Nina Fischer and Maroan el Sani, Peter Galison and Rob Moss, Karen Kramer, Akira Kurosawa, Fredrik Oskarsson, Cécile Massart, and Jane and Louise Wilson.

The exhibition is accompanied by The Nuclear Culture Source Book, a collaboration between Bildmuseet, Arts Catalyst and Black Dog Publishing.