2 July 2008

The China Syndrome

I've been doing a little reading about apocalypse movies in advance of next week's exhibition, The Swarm. Whether it's attacking insects, tomatoes, tidal waves or aliens, according to a text by Kim Newman, most of these films are a symptom of anxiety about the bomb. As Newman puts it The China Syndrome (1979) "takes its title from the facetious term for what would theoretically happen if a nuclear reactor went into meltdown - the plutonium would eat through the world and turn up in China."

I couldn't help thinking of Maddie Leach's AndalucĂ­a 2007 project earlier this year at Te Tuhi. With a little help from some contractors and bored.com, She dug a hole in the gallery courtyard and emerged in a Spanish olive grove. You can try it for yourself here by zooming into your chosen hole location and then clicking on the map. If LAKE TAUPO really had no bottom, you could swim to a strange looking island just out of CASA DE PERABAD, halfway between Seville and Madrid.

The China Syndrome is about a nuclear plant on THREE MILE ISLAND, Pennsylvania. According to bored.com's hole-digging service, a meltdown would actually leak through to HERE, in the ocean about 1000km south-west of Perth. So we're not so safe from nuclear catastrophe in the South Pacific after all.

Image: Maddie Leach, AndalucĂ­a (detail), 2007. Excavated hole (1m x 2m), earth, tarpaulin, fencing mesh and waratahs.

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Art from Space is an exploration of art-related phenomena that manifests in interesting ways on Google’s aerial maps. It is also an experiment in curatorial practice; collecting, presenting and contextualising items in ways that users can explore, free of curator-imposed framing and sequencing. This blog is Art from Space’s developmental musings made public, where items are introduced to the project in real time, rather than awaiting the grand unveiling of a completed exhibition. Specific locations of interest are highlighted in CAPS and linked to a map for further exploration. Visit the mother ship HERE.