Nuclear Illuminations

Symposium:


Presentation Title:

  • Nuclear Illuminations

Presenter(s):



Abstract:

  • In this body of work I create a space of disruption, a dark room where the only source of light is illuminated when nuclear issues are discussed on the Internet. Two types of lamps will merge the natural with the man-made world. An altered commercial street lamp is filled with bioluminescent algae, activated when a servo agitates the algae liquid, which is triggered by nuclear-related keywords appearing on Google, Twitter and the NY Times. Two bioluminescent bacteria lamps will also be in the room and will be triggered by the keywords, releasing a drop of enzyme into the bacteria solution, continually increasing the amount of illumination.

    For a week, bioluminescent algae lamps filled my apartment, acting as the only source of light. They were activated when nuclear-related keywords appeared on the Internet. Just as I would settle into a task, the bioluminescent light would turn on and off. It was a constant reminder of the urgency of these topics, during a time when radioactive water continues to flow from the Fukushima plant into the ocean. The disruptions made me conscious of my dependence on electricity as well as a comforting reminder that there is a dialogue happening.
    Glitch: Many would view the nuclear meltdown as an event caused by a series of glitches in the nuclear reactor’s system. Likewise, we will see a series of glitches spread across the affected area in the form of biological and ecological abnormalities. I view the activation of the algae as a type of glitch, a short-lived disturbance in the system. This glitch, however, might just have the power to remediate the damage we caused. The active discussions and concern about the meltdown is its own type of remediation that slowly, but surely, is pushing its way to the surface.

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