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Julia Bryan-Wilson: Nuclear Futures

 

Performance Studies Tuesday Night Forum Series Presents:

Nuclear Futures
Julia Bryan-Wilson
Assistant Professor, Contemporary Art and Visual Culture
Rhode Island School of Design

February 14, 2006  7pm

Tisch School of the Arts
New York University
Department of Performance Studies
721 Broadway
6th Floor, Room 636

Drawing on art history, performance studies, and visual culture studies, this paper asks how monuments mediate, enable, and block different kinds of futures. "Nuclear Futures" explores the plans for a large-scale warning marker that will be constructed above the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant, a nuclear waste dump currently operating near Carlsbad, New Mexico. This marker--whose design was recently finalized--is meant to caution people for the next 10,000 years about the dangers of drilling or digging on this radioactive site.  What might these plans tell us about the duration and legibility of visible signs--their persistence or erosion through time--and the persistence and dangers of the dream of a universal language? What kinds of futurity does the warning marker ask us to imagine--or forget? What might the marker tell us about the performativity and temporality of visual imagery in the nuclear age?