Design & Toxicity

Material Witness by MIT Press

Toxicity in the environment have latency - ie radioactive isotopes. Second, visibility: toxins are often only visible through technology. Third, things are non-linear, cause and effect not necessarily straightforward. In English/US law, you have to show direct causality - this is why it's hard to procecute oil companies etc.

Toshiba Gamma camera in use at Fukushima

There's a stanard black and white sensor, overlayed with a specialised gamma ray sensor. This shows how localized radioactive contamination can be.

Trace evidence uses simliar imagery (though not shot on the actual camera)

  1. Geology is on natural nucelar reactors
  2. Meterology is on Tchernobyl
  3. Hydrology is on Fukushima

The piece is making the point how difficult it is to litigate around polution. Radioactive contamination is somewhat of an exception, because isotopes and decay rates are very specific: There was only one source for contaminants in the Pacific.

Installaltion with newspapers from the day of the accident to the day it's first publicly admitted (19 days later). Note also that online search engines kind of retro-actively close that gap - if you google march 26... you get chernobyl, the only way to see the actual timeline of the event is microfilm.

Strangely enough the Chernobyl trial (agains some low-level workers) happened inside the exclusion zone, so no press could attend.

Vault of the office oft he procecutor, icty de hague

Izbica massacre tape (Work on Kosovo Genocide)

Cabow research facility in the netherlands: Here scientists are studying climate change, often by using sound (listening to athmosheric movements),

atmsopheric feedback loops (2017) a 35mm veryical film

Nature Represents itself Deepwater Horizon project for the sculpture centre

Public lab came up with the idea of the community satelite This is necessary because BP spent all kinds of money to stop journalists from covering (imaging) the event.

The projct argues for the capacity of natural systems (ie oil spills) to image themselves. See also Photosynthesis/Photography: In both cases, sunlight leads to surface transformation. See also ice cores (band of volcanic ash). Ice cores don't just contain information, but also life forms.

The oil film stuff is done in Realflow/Houdini

Paintings, ice cores, shipping logs, farmers' almanachs, tree rings are proxy data. We're not measuring the data directly, but looking at a proxy. Also Burgundy wine harvests let you extrapolate climate data (because it's always collected at a certain precise air temperature).