Friday, September 23, 2011
Slouching Towards Yucca Mountain
Here is some information on a project I'm working on with some MICA Alumni.
And a project description:
SLOUCHING TOWARDS YUCCA MOUNTAIN
Eve Andrée Laramée
A cast of nineteen fictional characters explore the landscape of the post-Atomic Age West in, “Slouching Towards Yucca Mountain.” The project examines issues and ironies surrounding the problem of radioactive waste disposal in the United States. In 2002 the U.S. government began developing Yucca Mountain as a deep geological repository for high-level radioactive waste. Due to geological faults and climate uncertainties the project was terminated; however a seven-mile long maze of excavated tunnels exist beneath the mountain. The U.S. currently has no master plan for permanent disposal of radioactive waste; it is in temporary storage at hundreds of sites across the country. This environmental problem has hardest hit the indigenous peoples of the Western desert lands. I want to raise public awareness, involve communities and initiate discussions through this work.
The non-linear narrative of “Slouching Towards Yucca Mountain” involves time travelers who discover the tunnels and question the use and misuse of the so-called “empty wastelands” of the American West. Using tropes and clichés of the Western film and science fiction film genres, a subtext of environmental exposé unfolds in a suspenseful tale: part fact, part fiction. It is set in an ambiguous time period - unstuck in time - partially 19th, 20th and 21st Century. The project reveals American values and beliefs about nature, conquest, the ownership/use of land, and environmental justice issues. It does so with a mixture of creativity, humor, and dead seriousness. The project draws attention to issues of sustainability, renewable vs. non-renewable energy, waste disposition, geological time, and “cowboy extractionary economics.”
Laramée and her collaborators shot thousands of still photographs and hours of video footage in Death Valley, California and the ghost towns of Rhyolite and Goldpoint, Nevada, during a residency at the Goldwell Museum 15 miles from Yucca Mountain. Collaborators include New York-based artists Courtney “scrapworm” Wrenn, and Mia Ardito; Montana-based artists Chelsea Noggle, and Michel Tallichet; and Santa Fe-based artists from the Meow Wolf collective, Emily “DJ Dirtgirl” Montoya and Benji Geary.
As an interdisciplinary artist who has worked at the confluence of art, science and nature for over thirty years, Laramée’s work examines environmental issues and ecological problems through exhaustive research, activism and creative works. This is the “landscape” where Laramée’s aesthetics and pedagogic ethics merge.