Book ID: CBB112981142

The future of nuclear waste: what art and archaeology can tell us about securing the world's most hazardous material (2020)


Joyce, Rosemary A. (Author)

Oxford University Press

Publication Date: 2020
Physical Details: 274
Language: English

How can sites of waste disposal be marked to prevent contamination in the future? The United States government addressed this challenge in planning for nuclear waste repositories. Consulting with experts in imagining future scenarios, in language and communication, and in anthropology, the Department of Energy sought to develop plans that would satisfy demands from the Environmental Protection Agency for a marker system that would be effective long into the future. Expert consultants proposed two very different designs: one based on archaeological sites recognized as cultural heritage monuments; the other proposing that certain forms invoke universal feelings. The Department of Energy opted for a design based on archaeological ruins, cited as proof human-made markers could last and communicate warnings for thousands of years. This book explores the common sense assumptions the experts made about their archaeological models, and shows how they are contradicted by what archaeologists understand about these places and things. The book alternates between discussions of archaeological marker designs and reflections on the alternative proposal based on archetypes intended to arouse universal responses. Recognizing these archetype designs as similar in scale and form to Land Art projects, it compares the way government experts proposed their designs would work with views of modern artists and critics. Drawing on views of indigenous people who disproportionately are asked to accommodate such projects, the book explores concessions within the project that only oral transmission is likely to ensure such sites remain identifiable long into the future. (Publisher)

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Authors & Contributors
Wosk, Julie
Hamblin, Jacob Darwin
Enns, Anthony
Kittler, Friedrich
Pursell, Carroll W.
Iversen, Kristen
Technology and Culture
Design Issues
IA. The Journal of the Society for Industrial Archeology
Science as Culture
The Bridge: Journal of the National Academy of Engineering
Rutgers University Press
Polity Press
Blackwell Publishers
Crown Publishers
Oregon State University
Hat & Beard Press
Technology and society
Technology and art
Nuclear and radioactive waste
Forecasting; prediction
Time Periods
21st century
20th century
20th century, late
17th century
18th century
19th century
United States
Soviet Union
Colorado (U.S.)
São Paulo (Brazil)
Latin America
Anaconda Copper Mining Company

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