BEVERLY NAIDUS & EVE ANDREE LARAMEE
2012 Bioneers Conference Marin Civic Center, Marin County CA , in North San Francisco Bay Area
October 19-21, 2012
Drawn from WEAD Magazine’s special ISSUE NO. 5: ATOMIC LEGACY ART (www.weadartists/magazine.org), the exhibit features art activist voices from Japan, Chernobyl, New Mexico, and US areas threatened by aging atomic energy plants and concurrent unsustainable environmental issues.
Sixty-seven years ago the first nuclear weapon was detonated at the Trinity site in the New Mexico desert. Sixty years ago the nuclear “energy” industry metastacized from the military. The visual and performative history of anti-nuclear activist art has followed the same timeline, fully emerging in the 1950’s; and will continue as long as the nuclear industry remains dangerously uninhibited.
Our nation’s failure to come to grips with the fact that no long-term plan exists for radioactive waste disposal reveals a cultural blind spot towards the ecological war that continues to be waged by the military/industrial nexus.
Peaceful non-violent activists are tenacious creatures: they want their own and future generations to live to see a nuclear-free world. Their artworks inspire, provoke, and educate audiences to act collectively toward positive transformation.
The true costs of “clean, green, cheap” nuclear energy must take into consideration the front end and the back end of the fuel process, and the cost to the health of all species due to accidents.
The National Cancer Institute of the U.S. Department of Health reports that exposure to radiation from nuclear weapons testing continues to be a worldwide issue of significant concern, yet the powerful medical industry continues to profit from this situation so there is little incentive to shift priorities.
Each and every weapons test and nuclear industry accident is recorded in the ice of Antarctica – scientists have monitored these traces in ice core samples. We are all unwitting test subjects of the Atomic Age.
Technology currently exists to create a new energy infrastructure based on integrated renewables: wind, solar, biomass, tidal, hydro, and geothermal.
Artworks can provide interventions that unsettle cultural blind spots, leading towards reconfiguration into a disposition of caring and healing. We need an ecology of practices and behaviors that are sustainable and in sync with the complex forms on our planet. We have an obligation to the future.
As Joanna Macy and others have eloquently written, it is important to do the work of voicing our despair and grief, piercing through our often numb facades, whether we are artists or not, if we are going to grapple with the challenge of changing the status quo.
Every teaspoon of action, whether it is learning more, joining a group working on these issues, writing to people, petitioning, direct action or making art adds to the momentum needed right now
WEAD ART EXHIBIT at 2012 BIONEERS CONFERENCE: Atomic Legacy Art • Women Environmental Artists Directory