On nuclear pasts
and radiant futures
Artistic research
and exhibition

Research assembly DAY#2 - Energy futures and solar politics, imaginaries of the future and the deep time of radioactive waste storage

nGbK Berlin

The two-year artistic and curatorial research project SALT. CLAY. ROCK. tackles the pasts and futures of nuclear infrastructures in Germany and Hungary. In the first year, curators and artists have visited places and communities that host uranium mines, power plants and radioactive waste repositories, or that have been important sites of anti-nuclear resistance.
From 17–19 November 2023, they will present the preliminary results of their research at nGbK along with contributions by activists, artists, researchers, and thinkers, who are invited to share their insights on nuclear cultural heritage, anti-nuclear movements, energy futures and the ‘green transition’.

Energy futures and solar politics, imaginaries of the future and the deep time of nuclear waste storage

Writing After Their Future: A Sci-fi Fictioning Workshop with Max Haiven.
Max invites participants to come together to imagine other futures in a writing workshop, leading with our already affected body: "Our slightly radioactive bodies... our disaster-haunted minds… these are the traces of lives lived in the shadow of nuclear nightmares. In this workshop, we transform those traces into flash fiction stories in order to explore the ruins of future dreams and cast our imaginations towards more radical horizons."
No expertise is needed. Bring your favourite writing tools (laptop, pens and paper, etc.)
Please register until 15 November at anmeldung@ngbk.de
Max Haiven is a writer and teacher and Canada Research Chair in the Radical Imagination. His most recent books are Palm Oil: The Grease of Empire (2022), Revenge Capitalism: The Ghosts of Empire, the Demons of Capital, and the Settling of Unpayable Debts (2020) and Art after Money, Money after Art: Creative Strategies Against Financialization (2018). Haiven is editor of VAGABONDS, a series of short, radical books from Pluto Press. He teaches at Lakehead University, where he co-directs the Re-Imagining Value Action Lab (RiVAL). He also leads the Worker as Futurist project, which supports rank-and-file Amazon workers to write and publish short, speculative fiction about "the world after Amazon." He is currently working on a book tentatively titled The Player and the Played: How Financialization Breed Fascism. Sometimes he also makes board games and produces podcasts.

Nowhere KitchenPepe's Pinoy Pop-Up

Welcome & Introduction to SALT. CLAY. ROCK.
Collective reading of texts written during the sci-fictioning workshop, followed by the curators' and selected artists’ guided tour of the research display

Collective conversation with commissioned artists and guests on their research and their artistic approaches regarding the sites in Germany and Hungary, where they will be working.
With: Ana Alenso (online), András Cséfalvay, Krisztina Erdei, Csilla Nagy & Rita Süveges, Sonya Schönberger, Marike Schreiber, Working Group Image Archive Asse II (Susanne Kriemann, Judith Milz, Lena Reisner)

Radioactive waste and deep time: a geologist’s perspective
Conversation with the geologist Péter Molnár (online), moderated by Csilla Nagy & Rita Süveges (offline)
Péter Molnár heads the Research Department of PURAM (Hungarian Radioactive Waste Management Organisation). He is a geologist and a nuclear environmental engineer. He has been involved and managing site selection, geological investigation, safety assessment and licensing of radioactive waste disposal facilities for more than 25 years. He is also member of several international groups, working on safety of radioactive waste disposal.

Nowhere Kitchen: A Migrant Cooking Theatre of Spicy Histories and Collective Eating Ritual of Leftovers led by Pepe Dayaw de Manila

Keynote by Oxana Timofeeva: Energy and Intelligence: From Solar to Nuclear 
Followed by a Q&A led by András Cséfalvay
In describing her talk, Oxana says, "In the first part of my talk, I will concentrate on some long-range energetic prospects on the destiny of the humankind, which were discussed in mid-20th century, such as the idea of colonization of the sun resulting in the creation of the Dyson sphere, or a cosmic mission against entropy, suggested by Ewald Ilyenkov, in which the (re)creation of the Universe coincide with its deliberate (self)destruction. In the second part, I will present some insights towards a nuclear philosophy, and try to conceptualize the fantasy of a nuclear apocalypse in terms of politics and subjectivity."
Oxana Timofeeva is a philosopher based in Berlin, member of the artistic collective "Chto Delat" ("What is to be done"), and the author of books Solar Politics (Polity 2022), How to Love a Homeland (Kayfa ta, 2020), History of Animals (Bloomsbury 2018), This is not That (in Russian, Ivan Limbakh Publishing House, 2022)), Introduction to the Erotic Philosophy of Georges Bataille (in Russian, New Literary Observer, 2009), and other writings.

Conversation on energy futures and the challenges of the ‘green transition’
With: Theresa Deichert, Moritz Maria Karl, Andrea Vetter
The last panel brings together transformation researcher Andrea Vetter, architect Moritz Maria Karl, and ecofeminist thinker Theresa Deichert, who will among others address how nuclear energy has recently been re-cast as ‘green energy’ by those who advocate for a nuclear techno-fix to climate change.
Theresa Deichert, an art historian, curator, and visual arts communicator, recently completed her Ph.D. at the Heidelberg Center for Transcultural Studies at Heidelberg University. Her research delves into (non)human collaborations in Japanese contemporary art within the context of the Fukushima nuclear disaster. Her work has been published in the Journal of Transcultural Studies, and as part of the book "Imagining the Apocalypse: Art and the End Times" (Courtauld Books Online, 2022), which she co-edited. Theresa is an active member of the Nuclear Culture Research Group, a network of artists, cultural practitioners, and scholars working on nuclear issues.

Moritz is the founder of OMMK, a project-based urban design office based in Berlin. Considering the significant environmental impact associated with architecture, the office investigates alternative forms of living, localised methods of landscape regeneration and forward-looking ecological models for communities that transcend traditional architectural practices, which typically revolve around the design and construction of buildings. The overarching mission is to contribute to a more socially just and equitable planet through ‘building without building buildings’.

Dr. Andrea Vetter is a transformation researcher, activist, journalist, friend and mother, using degrowth, commons and critical eco-feminism as tools. She is (co-)author of many articles and books, among them The Future is Degrowth (Verso, 2022) and Konviviale Technik. Empirische Technikethik für eine Postwachstumsgesellschaft (Transcript, 2023). She is co-founder and co-creator of the post local rural cultural and activist hub Haus des Wandels, located between Berlin and the Polish border. She is editor of the popular magazine for transformation Oya and fellow of the laboratory for new economic ideas in Leipzig (Germany). 2023-2026 she is co-head of the research project Big Trans (Technical University of Cottbus), researching participation in the energy transition in rural Brandenburg. Often she is sad about all the monstrous developments in the world, but as she believes in the power of collectives, being interwoven in strong relationsships gives her glimpses of hope from time to time.

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