Moorside plans take a big step backwards

http://www.in-cumbria.com/null/Moorside-power-station-plans-in-tatters-after-Toshiba-pulls-the-plug-on-NuGen-15e25791-7c14-416c-8ede-56d16f4dd89f-ds

 

I am heading to Whitehaven tomorrow to look in the archives there but I think the town will have other things on its mind…IMG_2380

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Nuclear power in the earthquake zone

Being here in Japan for an extended period of time and visiting a number of nuclear sites has been a very unsettling experience, literally unsettling as I have had to get used to the aftershocks of local earthquakes – the one just before I arrived was enough to raise the alarm about nearby Tomari nuclear power plant which had to have emergency generators brought in for cooling after a power failure, and it wasn’t even running. That is one of the striking stories, the cost of keeping unused plant in working order but not running; that and the unbuild plant in Ohma which has been under construction since the 70’s. Leaving aside the economics it really doesn’t seem sustainable to keep on plugging away at making this industry fly. Here at Ohma we met an activist who keep an off grid home in the shadow of the construction site and has held out from selling the land for 40 years. A plucky story of resistance which ended up being one of my artworks for the show – blog on that to come later.

 

5.approach to the activist cottage

http://www.cnic.jp/english/?p=4135

A good article on the problem with all the Plutonium in Japan. But don’t worry, the extreme right wing government has plans to change the constitution to allow Japan to militarise and they fancy making use of it somehow. Rokkasho reprocessing plant is still not operating although they put on a good show in the visitor centre!

Daichi record3

Fukushima is a world stage disaster and yet it doesn’t get talked about enough apparently, despite the government’s plans to release vast quantities of Tritium polluted water stored on site into the Pacific Ocean – trying to get it out of the way well in advance of the Tokyo Olympics in 2020. All seems very unsettling indeed and makes me want to get back to my own little safe corner of Wales – Oh, but wait a minute Hitachi are there, building their ABWR there instead of building it in Japan.

 

Hitachi expansion

Power in the Land in Japan

20181005_190420_resized

Here I am in Sapporo, Japan with S’AIR on my nuclear culture residency. Five whole weeks stretching ahead of me but time is already whizzing by in the social whorl that is the art world in Sapporo. Second night there I gave a talk at the welcome party along with fellow resident artist Yang Lei from Bejing (who turns out to be a friend of Ai Wei Wei). The X-10 publication is sitting on the shelf and now the new work begins. A week to catch up on my existing projects before going to some nuclear sites.

Shipping our waste around the world?

https://www.sbs.com.au/nitv/nitv-news/article/2018/09/18/south-australia-could-be-final-destination-british-nuclear-waste??

This article is about the reaction from First Nation communities to the news that intermediate level waste from the UK might be sent to Southern Australia as a final  storage solution. As the article states:

Australia agreed to dispose of the waste in exchange for Britain reprocessing spent fuel rods from the first reactor at Lucas Heights in the 1990s.

 

 

Digging in to the site

As part of my ongoing investigations into the Wylfa site I have been working on the archaeology that is taking place in preparation for a possible new power station adjacent to the old Wylfa site. No doubt this is adding something to the cost of nuclear power as there are upwards of 80 trained archaeologists working to uncover the neolithic henge, 1st century village, 5th century graveyard and much else besides. We are still trying to get permission from Horizon to go onto the site itself but they have agreed to work with us to try and create something for the local community.

 

In the meantime a study day at Plas Gyn-y-Weddw with Simon Callery and Stefan Gant proved inspirational as they have been working in Denbighshire alongside the excavation of a hill fort there. I have been interested in Simon Callery’s work since he made the Segusbury Project, casting a whole section of excavation of chalk downs. Here he has worked in heavily pigmented cloths on the ground to explore the three dimensional experience of the landscape as revealed by excavations. The result is a four layered stitched cloth painting, the size of the gallery wall and inviting the viewer to walk around and experience the temporality of the land.

 

Stefan Gant is fascinated by the process of digging and has made many drawings of this action as well as many sound recordings. Here have has found new ways of combining these two into new and abstract digital forms.

https://www.oriel.org.uk/en/events/2018/rhych

Landscape / Evidence / Roundtable

landscapevidence

I was recently invited to participate in Landscape  / Evidence / Roundtable at Kingston University @Kingstonschoolofart put together by Matthew Flintham, artist and phd researcher http://www.matthewflintham.net and included speakers Artist Kate Fahey http://www.katefahey.co.uk Architect Christoph Lueder https://www.kingston.ac.uk/staff/profile/mr-christoph-lueder-330  and Artist and  Curator Nick Fergusson  http://nickferguson.co.uk 

It was an interesting set of presentations and discussions – I presented about Power In The Land, http://powerintheland.co.uk/  speaking about my approach to making work on the Horizon Nuclear Power site at Wylfa and negotiating access etc. I showed a section of my film Orange Buckets https://vimeo.com/148746112 .

Conversation covered nuclear power, security zones, military land, spectatorship of internet, materiality of operational footage from freely accessible military / state controlled cctv / footage and drones. Non regular systems of urban typographies, social housing and off grid communities. As well as the physicality of airspace and thinking about the wheel well space inside long haul aircrafts and the transfer of fauna, people and whatever else as in these non places. After the presentations we realised that ‘as artists / researchers it was the act of finding the weak link or way in or playing the system to get to our subject matter’ that we all had in common, as well as the desire to get in places when they are fenced off – so the act of the fence as both a physical barrier and an enticing challenge.