Last week saw the first Nuclear Culture site visit to the HMS Courageous in Plymouth. Artists Nick Crowe, Ian Rawlinson and Susan Schuppli as well as curators Ele Carpenter and Lucia Garavaglia spent an eventful couple of days in Plymouth, a beautiful city full of palm trees and sea views. As well as being immersed in the Cold War logic of nuclear submarines, the trip provided an opportunity to get a quick overview of contemporary art in Plymouth and the culture of the city.
Lucia Garavaglia reviews Sandra Lahire's 1987 film 'Uranium Hex' (11mins). This is the first in a series of reviews of artist's film & video works and exhibitions exploring nuclear culture, written by emerging curators on the Goldsmiths MFA Curating programme.
I'm at Cove Park artists residency center in Scotland. I've come to write up some of my research, get some clean air and explore the nuclear culture of the area. Cove Park is on the Rosneath peninsula between Loch Long and Gare Loch. On the west of the peninsula is Coulport (where nuclear warheads are taken on and off submarines), and on the west side of Gareloch is the Faslane Naval base where Britian's Trident Submarine fleet are based.
'Singularly Assured Destruction, 1870-2013: A laboratory for measuring the variable risk perception of radioactivity' is an outcome of research into the perception of nuclear risk. The variance in how radiation is perceived is a key issue raised in the Submarine Dismantling Project Advisory Group, where nuclear experts and community stakeholders advise the MOD on the process of dismantling nuclear submarines.
The relationship between time and space is often discussed in relation to art. But recent reflections on time have started to focus on 'Deep Time' or geologic time, a concept which stretches before and after a human perception of time. Of course geologists and deep space astronomers have always been concerned with deep time, but maybe there's a renewed sense of our fragility on earth as the reality of the human impact on the earth's geological structure and ecosystem starts to sink in.