Material Witness by MIT Press

Toxicity in the en­vi­ron­ment have la­tency - ie ra­dioac­tive iso­topes. Second, vis­i­bil­ity: tox­ins are of­ten only vis­i­ble through tech­nol­ogy. Third, things are non-lin­ear, cause and ef­fect not nec­es­sar­ily straight­for­ward. In English/US law, you have to show di­rect causal­ity - this is why it’s hard to pro­ce­cute oil com­pa­nies etc.

Toshiba Gamma cam­era in use at Fukushima

There’s a sta­nard black and white sen­sor, over­layed with a spe­cialised gamma ray sen­sor. This shows how lo­cal­ized ra­dioac­tive con­t­a­m­i­na­tion can be.

Trace ev­i­dence uses sim­liar im­agery (though not shot on the ac­tual cam­era)

  1. Geology is on nat­ural nuce­lar re­ac­tors
  2. Meterology is on Tchernobyl
  3. Hydrology is on Fukushima

The piece is mak­ing the point how dif­fi­cult it is to lit­i­gate around po­lu­tion. Radioactive con­t­a­m­i­na­tion is some­what of an ex­cep­tion, be­cause iso­topes and de­cay rates are very spe­cific: There was only one source for con­t­a­m­i­nants in the Pacific.

Installaltion with news­pa­pers from the day of the ac­ci­dent to the day it’s first pub­licly ad­mit­ted (19 days later). Note also that on­line search en­gines kind of retro-ac­tively close that gap - if you google march 26… you get cher­nobyl, the only way to see the ac­tual time­line of the event is mi­cro­film.

Strangely enough the Chernobyl trial (agains some low-level work­ers) hap­pened in­side the ex­clu­sion zone, so no press could at­tend.

Vault of the of­fice oft he pro­ce­cu­tor, icty de hague

Izbica mas­sacre tape (Work on Kosovo Genocide)

Cabow re­search fa­cil­ity in the nether­lands: Here sci­en­tists are study­ing cli­mate change, of­ten by us­ing sound (listening to ath­mosh­eric move­ments),

atm­so­pheric feed­back loops (2017) a 35mm very­i­cal film

Nature Represents it­self Deep­wa­ter Horizon pro­ject for the sculp­ture cen­tre

Public lab came up with the idea of the com­mu­nity satelite This is nec­es­sary be­cause BP spent all kinds of money to stop jour­nal­ists from cov­er­ing (imaging) the event.

The pro­jct ar­gues for the ca­pac­ity of nat­ural sys­tems (ie oil spills) to im­age them­selves. See also Photosynthesis/Photography: In both cases, sun­light leads to sur­face trans­for­ma­tion. See also ice cores (band of vol­canic ash). Ice cores don’t just con­tain in­for­ma­tion, but also life forms.

The oil film stuff is done in Realflow/Houdini

Paintings, ice cores, ship­ping logs, farm­ers’ al­manachs, tree rings are proxy data. We’re not mea­sur­ing the data di­rectly, but look­ing at a proxy. Also Burgundy wine har­vests let you ex­trap­o­late cli­mate data (because it’s al­ways col­lected at a cer­tain pre­cise air tem­per­a­ture).