It appears that we are living in a post-Fukishima society. This has not been made clear in the news nor is it being snapchatted ad infinitum.

The book’s introduction to nuclear culture gives it to us left, right and centre and explains what has been right in front of us all along. The nuclear sites, the Anthropocene and the concept of radiation as a hyperobject are dissected to reveal what lies ahead in the future.

Photo courtesy of Arts Catalyst
Photo courtesy of Arts Catalyst

Editor Ele Carpenter has spent four years working on curatorial research that responds to the nuclear. 60 contributors comment, rage and exhibit work from anti-trident protests to Pazuzu, the Sumero-Assyrian demon of contagion, epidemic and dust.

The sourcebook reads like a sublime atomic spectacle that baffles with every turn of the page. Art representing the nuclear economy is not a new thing but it has not been given the attention it deserves. In about 100 pages we traverse across the world from the highways of North America to the Energy Coast of the Northwest where artists Bryan McGovern and Robert Williams’s work ‘Cumbrian Alchemy’ explores the relationship between the nuclear mining and renewable energy. In their eyes, all we need is an Atomic priesthood to guide us through this society.

This book delivers to the reader the unthinkable and the unexplored. It is advisable not to expect solutions or any form of hope from this sourcebook but what it aims to give is a cultural understanding that things can and will get a lot worse. So, brace yourselves, allow it to hit you and think about coping.

Ele Carpenter’s The Nuclear Culture Source Book is published by black dog publishing at £24.95


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