Birkbeck: Apocalyptic Archives: Nuclear Landscapes & Material Histories


From British military activities at the Maralinga test site in South Australia during the cold war period of 1956-63 to the more recent discovery of radioactive contaminates off the West Coast of Canada linked to the accident at Fukushima-Daiichi four years earlier, these researchers explore the archival capacities of landscapes to recall and bear witness to the dispersed evidential histories of nuclear colonialism and energy production. Using their own image-making practice as a kind of divining rod for delving into the material memories of landscapes in combination with references to the works of other artists, Burns and Schuppli extend the classic photographic index to environmental systems themselves, treating landscapes as latent media whose inscriptive surfaces and chemical re-arrangements function as mnemonic devices for reassembling the past.

David Burns and Susan Schuppli
Architecture Space and Society Centre
6 December 2019, 18:00-20:00

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© David Burns, 2024