One effect of the waste heat conducted from the Olkiluoto nuclear power plant into the sea is the farming of signal crayfish, the most economically relevant crayfish specie in Finland. Signal Crayfish are solitary animals with a genetic immunity to the crayfish plague and a distinctive antagonistic behaviour. The video shows various scenes of crayfish in an aquarium at Olkiluoto.
Signal Crayfish is part of Nuclear Waste. More information about Nuclear Waste here:
Although it is largely understood that nuclear power is a misused energy form in both ecological and economical planes, there exist 432 active plants worldwide, and new ones are being built and – positively agreed upon – in several countries.
Since 1951, the start of the “peaceful use of nuclear energy”, there has not been a solution for ending the life cycle of nuclear material in a responsible and safe way. The approximate 10,000 metric tons of spent high-level nuclear fuel produced each year are stocked insecurely overground. Only few of it is partially reprocessed, and some illegally dumped. The half-life of its radioactivity is expected to last from 10,000 – 1 million years.
Since 2007, Finland is building the world’s first repository for high-level nuclear waste on the half-island of Olkiluoto, named “Onkalo” (finnish for “little cave”). The official governmental permission is expected to go through in 2012, with operations beginning in 2020. Onkalo is planned to be filled with spent fuel for 100 years and then sealed. The aim of the construction is to securely contain waste for a minimum of 100,000 years without it being retrievable.
For us, the first worldwide nuclear waste repository is connoted as a surrogate for the challenge of human kind to control coefficients that lie beyond control. The terminus End then unfolds itself up to a period of one million years by an indefinite endpoint.
Our interest in pursuing this topic as an artistic work lies in facing a remote future and in researching parameters which are just partly predictable. In the efforts to be undertaken trying to control today’s outcomes for future uncertainties and the role of citizens within these procedures.
We are at the beginning of this field of work. Our photographs and videos behave as a set of aesthetic and perceptual mappings on the topics of nuclear power and waste reposit. These mappings inform our approach, which is stimulated by a sense of awkward fascination underlying a silent irony, involving ideas of comfort, curiosity and desperation. Developing of our work will lead us into further interpretations on materiality, implausibility and time.
Benten Clay is an artistic corporation run by artists Vera Hofmann and Sabine Schründer with its headquarters in Berlin. Both artists see this cooperation as an extension of their previous and current work as singular artists in which they mostly work within the field of contemporary photography and video. Age of an End is the title of a long-term project in which Benten Clay explores different aspects of power, investigating socio-political and economical threats as well as environmental concerns using photography, video, installation and performance. Benten Clay’s approach oscillates between slight provocation, research, documentation and poetical discretion. Its methods embrace different roles within a societal system, playing within the ambiguous boundaries between them. Since their foundation in September 2011 they were already invited to various exhibitions and artistic presentations in Finland and Germany.