Thursday, June 4, 2009

[Yasmin_discussions] Artists and Atoms: Fission and Fusion

Yasminers (I like the term!)

Roger raises a good point in his second paragraph below. Things nuclear are
of course "dual-use" and have been, historically speaking, been used for
good as well as ill. This makes it hard to separate the positives from the
negatives and, in my experience, the negatives tend to dominate the framing.
I think this art that has come from the world of fission and fusion reflects
this as well. I teach a course on the history of nuclear weapons and nuclear
power and also a class on how nuclear war is portrayed in fiction, film, and
music over the last 60 years. It does stimulate a lot of discussion but the
framing, as I note, tends to the negative.

I will be interested to hear of other examples, perhaps from the more
positive side of the spectrum. Also, with regard to ITER - yes, this is
largely portrayed as a civilian science project with a wide range of
positive outcomes projected. I wonder whether the project will, in time,
have an artist or writer-in-residence program?


On 6/4/09 3:12 AM, "roger malina" <> wrote:

> Yasminers
> Leonardo co editor Sheila Pinkel published an interesting
> article in leonardo on her work called Thermonuclear Gardens.
> Details below.
> On of the interesting things is that through this work she
> discovered that her father had been involved in much classified work in the
> nuclear business = and she only learned this as an adult.
> At the same time I am a bit unhappy the way the fission and fusion
> topic gets so quickly coupled to the negatives ( military, risk of accidents)
> in the case of fusion energy that is being developed through ITER= it is
> clearly
> civilian, and fusion power doesnt have the disadvantages of nuclear waste= and
> is potentially a really key contributor to how we move off dependency
> on fossil fuels over the coming 50 years.  Later this month we will try
> and elaborate more of the discussion around ITER
> Roger

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