Category Nuclear

James L Acord and Nuclear troubles.

With Fukushima and Chernobyl in the news there has been alot of interest in nuclear power and what happens to the spent materials that remain radioactive.

With so much in the media I want to start with a recent article on James L Acord as it was Acord who inspired me to study Nuclear technology and radiation http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg21028102.900-an-artist-who-had-a-radioactive-imagination.html This article is from the current NewScientist so too see the full article go to the library or the shops though if you put “acord” into the new scientist search engine there are

There has also been a film made about finland that was on more 4 called Nuclear Eternity http://www.channel4.com/programmes/nuclear-eternity/4od#3184793 which is available to watch on this link for 22 more days. The film is about a repository being built as Finland’s answer to Nuclear waste. Personally I was shocked by what some of what was said and outlined here, especially when they say they essentially waiting for the next ice age which should completely bury the waste. To me this dose not seem the most practical view. (Also, when researching Acord I found a few pieces online saying it was Acord who designed the sculptures shown in the film, however it was done for American secret services of some sort and I am yet to find hard evidence it was in fact Acord).  There is also an article on the bbc website about Finland’s project  http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/4948378.stm and the World Nuclear Association group have some more statistical information http://www.world-nuclear.org/info/inf76.html and the guardians take http://www.guardian.co.uk/artanddesign/2011/apr/24/nuclear-waste-storage .

This leads me to another article in this weeks New scientist(April 30th) on time. It would seem that there are a few different definitions of a year, depending on the area you study, and when two groups come together, geologists and chemists, to work on Nuclear half lives the final numbers don’t match. The article is called ” Push to define year sparks time war”  http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn20423-push-to-define-year-sparks-time-war.html the seconds difference may not seem like much, but when you start looking at 25,000 year half lives the seconds add up to make some quite different dates.

News on Fukushima seems to have stopped, Japan is trying to keep the status of the plant from the masses. The last few pieces I heard were around the place being as bad as Chernobyl . From the beginning as I watched the footage of the explosions, the radiation getting to food and across to America, effecting California(albeit very lightly compared to Japan) there are some sites with up to date info such as http://community.pachube.com/node/611#3d .

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-pacific-12845304 – This is a piece about a few of the workers going to hospital. I wonder if this is just released to show something harmful happening with the plants, where as from my research I am certain that many of the workers who have been in and out of the plants since the tsunami will be developing medical problems over the coming months. I am sure that Japan will be ding their best to keep it as quiet as possible. Radiation damage can come in many forms, but can take time to show up and effect the body, simple sickness can take the form of hair loss and vomiting serious effects are cancers of various forms. I will keep researching this over the year ahead to see what information is actually available about this, if any.

I will continue my research and post about what I find.

Acord send off

One month after James L. Acord passed away I put together some Chinese lanterns, one blue, 2 painted with radioactive signs. Inspired by how Acord memorialised the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki sending off floating lanterns in the memory of the hundreds of thousands who died.

http://www.vimeo.com/20150466

Acord Lanterns from Isobel Massey on Vimeo.

9th Feb, 2011, Whitley Bay, Newcastle, United Kingdom.

James L. Acord

This blog is to keep record of my research and work in the areas of Digital Media. I shall begin with the artist who has influenced and inspired me the most, a great artist, who passed away on the 9th of Janurary 2011, James L. Acord.

James L. Acord was a nuclear artist, the only civilian to ever hold a nuclear licence. Acords work looked at alchemy in the nuclear age, as he said, we’ve had the bronze age, the stone age etc., now is surely the nuclear age.

Acords work covered issues that effect all living beings, he worked endlessly and against a great wall with both pro nuclear and anti nuclear directed opinions being opposed to him. Clearly neither groups understood his work, yet he kept going for many years against numerous odds. Acord was a sculpter, but through his work opened a rift between science and art, or perhaps tryed to re-open, as he says; “Currently art and science are largely divorced from each other.  We live in such a complex and specialized time that that a Leonardo da Vinci, simultaneously on the leading edge of both art and science, is imposable.”

Acord has been the route of my inspiration for over 2 years now, and I will never forget how he has helped me and I will continue to work with the passion he inspired in me.

In an email I asked him why he thought art and science was important, he replyed

Art and science are the two primary paths to the understanding of what it is to be a human; in the life and universe that we inhabit.  A familiarity with both contributes to being a whole, conscious person. Art and science both complement and define each other.  My understanding and practice of sculpture is greatly expanded by my studies of Material Sciences like metallurgy and nuclear physics and my imagination is stretched by my readings in cosmology, for instance.  Many prominent scientists write of their love of art, often music.  The cross-fertilization between these two approaches to understanding life enriches both disciplines as well as civilization as a whole. “

http://jameslacord.com/

http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/backissues/2011/01/postscript-james-acord.html

I shall undoubtly continue to research art science hybrids and work with radiation and materials such as U.