Radiant is part of a much larger project that has the overall title of Long Life. For the past seven years I have been creating videos and photographs around the relationship between technology, atomic landscapes and community. I’ve visited The Polygon Nuclear Test Site in Kazakhstan, the Sellafield plutonium production reactors in the UK, the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone in the Ukraine, and the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant in Carlsbad, New Mexico, USA, along with other nuclear sites in the US, Russia and Australia. This work aims to create the possibility of visual encounters with the elusive narratives embedded in these nuclear landscapes.
There is no overarching narrative in this work–instead, a flow of fragments that accumulates to build a sense of the precariousness of the atomic enterprise, and the vulnerability of the landscapes and the (unseen) people who live with it and who inhabit its aftermath. The visual drivers are the sites themselves, what is to be found there and what they suggest. The emotional driver is the underlying pathos of the brevity of human life set against the longevity of radiation.
Radiant, a vertical video installation, was originally made in response to an opportunity to exhibit on the MediaWall in the Commons foyer at Bath Spa University, Newton, UK. A revised version was made in 2017. Taking landscape into the expanded portrait format, it situates the viewer in a corporeal relationship to the unfolding scenes.
Radiant was shot on location at Sellafield nuclear fuel reprocessing and decomissioning site near Seascale, Cumbria, UK; The Polygon, decommissioned Soviet nuclear test site, Semipalatinsk, Kazakhstan; Ranger Uranium Mine, Kakadu National Park, NT, Australia, and Dungeness Nuclear Power Station B, Kent, UK.
Original version (November 2015): duration: 12:54, stereo sound.
Revised version (March 2017): duration: 11:40, stereo sound
(Production assisted by Bath Spa University; Cumbrians Opposed to a Radioactive Environment (C.O.R.E.), Cumbria, UK; National Nuclear Center, Kazakhstan; Vitosha Australia.)