In the memory of James Leroy Acord (1944-2011) An artist who worked directly with radioactive materials dedicated to the idea of transmutation and demystifying technology.
The Hanford Site is a mostly decommissioned nuclear production complex operated by the United States federal government on the Columbia River in the U.S. state of Washington. Established in 1943 as part of the Manhattan Project in Hanford, south-central Washington, the site was home to the B Reactor, the first full-scale plutonium production reactor in the world. Plutonium manufactured at the site was used in the first nuclear bomb, tested at the Trinity site, and in Fat Man, the bomb detonated over Nagasaki, Japan.
James Leroy Acord attempted to create sculpture and events that probed the history of nuclear engineering and asked questions about the long-term storage of nuclear waste. For 15 years he lived in Richland, Washington, the dormitory town for the Hanford Nuclear Reservation.
Project consisted of a real time generative 4-channel digital projection and video installation and visual surveys around the landscape, architecture and machinery around in the site.
The form of the installation is driven by its core content which is a radioactive piece of forensic material collected from the site. Mutant Space, Hanford Site with its recursive, self enclosed mechanism articulates the waste in its core by creating a dynamic space. The sculptural form in the core which contains trace amounts of nuclear ore and waste is reflected back with a closed circuit connected camera to one of the channels of the installation to demystify the mechanism of the installation. The restless nature of this material and its real-time oscillations are sensed by the counter probes and fed to the computer over an I/O prototyping board as raw data in which it is processed to create videographic deformations and glitches. These video projections on semi transparent surfaces create a closed space which is visually mutated by the radioactive material.