Only an interdisciplinary approach deployed across various formats could take on a theme so layered with danger, history, conflict, and horror. In the Art Gallery of Ontario exhibition Camera Atomica, curated by John O’Brian in association with Sophie Hackett (July 8 – November 15, 2015), archival materials and artworks spread across three large galleries illustrating the wondrous element of uranium in diverse ways: its mining, its processing, and the wreckage that it causes. Intertwined with the topic was the integral role of photography within nuclear research, the formation of an accepting public, and resistance through art and journalism. The accompanying symposium, Through Post-Atomic Eyes, organized by O’Brian and Claudette Lauzon (September 23 – 25, 2015), presented a mix of aesthetic and academic projects related to film, video, and photography.1 1 - For symposium website, speakers, and abstracts, see http://www.postatomiceyes.net. Additional images and essays were presented in the Camera Atomica catalogue, edited by O’Brian. Among the threads that tied together the exhibition, catalogue, and associated conference were the science, design, administration, imaging, victims, and activist critique of nuclear technology. The symposium also stretched this conversation into the current terrain of military drones and surveillance systems.
This article also appears in the issue 86 – Geopolitics - GéopolitiqueDiscover