[-empyre-] seep for a thousand years

Simon SWHTaylor at zoho.com
Tue Nov 28 16:10:11 AEDT 2017

Dear <<empyreans>>,

A very brief response to Melinda's post and in consideration of the 
timescales or scaling times of contamination, I would like to point to 
the documentary /Onkalo/ or /Into Eternity/ 
<https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5HArxuzs1AA>; it also recalls the 
strange attraction of contaminated zones, like Chernobyl--perhaps a 
contemporary romanticism of the ruin? Nature's alter-return, post 
anything, anyone /human/kind. And the beauty of time at scale, of Cage 
at Halberstadt, which I'm sure I've brought to the list's attention 
before: http://www.aslsp.org/de/das-projekt.html



On 28/11/17 02:25, melinda rackham wrote:

----------empyre- soft-skinned space----------------------
Hello everyone-

thank you for inviting me to join this discussion Renate - its very close to me on a number of fronts and depths. Ive resonated with the discussion so far and am delighted to have new links to explore so thank you other guests for your insight into residual, viral and network contamination, symbiotic relations, boundary crossings, contaminate affect etc.  However I have just driven in the APY Lands - Indigenous Homelands in central Australia where I live for 6 months of the year today and am exhausted so will respond more fully tomorrow after a good sleep.

I just wanted to comment on one aspect of contamination briefly, harking back to Renate's initial post on contamination as boundary seepage.. almost a persona  "contamination creeps and has a slowness about it.” Yesterday I noticed in my news feeds a story of radioactive waste seepage accelerated by climate change on the remote Marshall Islands, halfway between Australia and Hawaii. on googling i discovered its not a new story- heres a link to the Guardian’s 2015 coveragehttps://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/jul/03/runit-dome-pacific-radioactive-waste

A concrete dome, known locally as “the Tomb”, containing tonnes of radioactive waste including about 400 lumps of plutonium left over from 60 United States Pacific Nuclear tests on atolls in the 1940s and 1950s is seeping - or has been for quiet a while.  What really struck me was that the dump site is sitting directly on the earth- ie it is not actually sealed and just has 18 inch slabs of concrete on top to conceal it - hardly a forward thinking containment strategy. Did the US not learn anything from the marvels of German engineering in WW 11 on how to build indestructible concrete megastructures like the Flakturms in Germany and Austria with 3.5 m (11 ft) concrete walls reinforced with steel cables. But the obscene absurdity of 18 inches of concrete icing on top of the radioactive cake?  But what I want to comment on is that for 50 years its contents have already been seeping into the Pacific Ocean through the permeable earth, creeping into the planets living systems, and we have been unconcerned.

Meanwhile on a larger island at the bottom of Australia a 6000 square metre three level sandstone lined bunker houses the Museum of Old and New Art (MONA). In early interviews on the Museums owner David Walsh (the internet gambling trillionaire who built this whimsy to house his massive collection of antiquities and contemporary art) would speak about how the gallery is cut from rock deep beneath a tidal river, his engineers have told him in about 50 years water will seep in and slowly immerse the gallery spaces, making it a subterranean mausoleum.https://www.themonthly.com.au/issue/2013/february/1366597433/richard-flanagan/gambler

Walsh saw this as a completely fitting outcome for MONA - colloquially known as the museum of sex and death - both inevitable in life cycles. Walsh would be dead - entombed in one of his large collections of urns in the internment wall, with MoNA offering lifetime membership for $75,00 where your cremated ashes can be urned up in the sandstone wall as well. That sort of talk about submersion has unfortunately now disappeared from any discussions of the Museum as I guess Walsh doesn't want to scare away paying visitors and gamblers now he is building a casino there. However for me this planned obsolesce through tidal seepage into the pinnacles of art and culture was the most interesting concept of the whole project, pitting nature as the contaminant.

more tomorrow


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