Nutopia 2011

Nutopia 2011 is a collaboration project between a physicist Tim Byrnes and an artist Kyoko Ebata, started after the Fukushima incident in Japan. 

Ebata and Byrnes made a hypothesis to make a nuclear energy power plant in model scale just to  the illumination of  a small biotope (a sealed environment in a bottle). The purpose of the experiments is to try gain a relation to how we live in the world, making simple power generators and bottle gardens, sometimes inventing ceremonies in the process, documented in photography. 

The thematic starting point of the project w
as to think about the way we live in a world with the aid of energy at the same time referring to romanticised landscape. After the Fukushima nuclear plant disaster in 2011, there was a sense that the landscape of Japan couldn't be perceived without reference to radioactive material. The energy issue is a very complicated one, and Byrnes and Ebata thought that it might be valuable to think about the energy issue on a smaller scale to see what it offers to a wider understanding of the context of nuclear power after the Fukushima disaster - a process with both subject and objective elements, and an engagement between Ebata's fearful opposition and Byrnes's belief in the potential of new energy.

As the project develops, the discussion between the scientist and the artist itself has come to symbolise relations in the wider world, the process of experimentation itself was emotionally loaded with the aura of the disaster, and as the process developed, ceremonies were added that reflect a willfully subjective approach to human life. Through, their approach trying to conduct the experiment in a “right” way ethically and legally, they try to understand the reality alongside re-acknowledging the difference in the value system and the fact that no right way exists. While Byrnes tries a scientific way, Ebata takes romantic attitude, and calls a impromptu funeral Shrimp Funeral and conducts another one, Melting in Seas of Tears by melting the frozen tears of her own together with the dead shrimp.

In July 2013, "How we Dance in the Wind", a one day show of three artists concerned with how, in the way we relate to them, we can deal with what is troubling about the unknown, undetermined or unseen, was held in a private garden of Ebata in Tokyo curated by Ebata Alasdair Duncan and Ebata, invited Tatsuo Majima. Prototype PROTOTYPE III (ii): HEAT PACK, and PROTOTYPE IV (ii): GLOW STICK were shown together with the photographs was exhibited

http://kyokoebata.com/2013/06/how-we-dance-in-the-wind/
http://www.garden-projects.info/home/garden-projects-1

In August, following the garden show in Tokyo, another group show “Gardening” at a garden of Duncan in London was held with different curation and artist. For this show, “Prototype V: Three devices of class B Radioactive source” were exhibited. Prototype V, in Garden Projects #2 uses light from tritium, a radioactive isotope, sandwiched between solar panels to create electricity which powers several LED lights. We have succeeded to complete the task of setting up a semipermanent device powered by radioactive substance and set up in a sealed environment which represent the earth.

The radioactive substances regulation laws differ in each country. In order to conduct whole process by law, the tritium sticks were purchased in Holland and sent to UK. The device was assembled accordance to “Guidance on the scope of and exemptions from the radioactive substances legislation the UK”, September 2011, Version 1.0 (*1), tritium light sticks used here are categorized as class B which is target of exemption if it is under 1X10(12) bq (non-mobile).

http://www.garden-projects.info/home
http://kyokoebata.com/2013/08/garden-projects-2-31-aug-2013-london/


The process of making the project - planning and making devices and environments, undertaking ceremonies, and documenting these - is one of building close-at-hand meta- phors which we can relate to as stand-ins. By making a metaphoric things to stand in for that which we cannot know, we are able to suture, to stitch up, to close, some of the discomfort of that not-knowing. In the place of the mere gap of the unknown, is placed a sign for that unknown as some- thing knowable as unknown.

*1
https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/69357/pb13624-rsl-guidance-110914.pdf


Prototype I






















Prototype II





















Prototype III

























Prototype IV



Funeral I (Shrimp Cocktail)



















































 Ceremony I
    1) Place the deceased shrimp in the glass 
    2) Place the glass together with other empty glasses to form a cocktail tower.
    3) Poor alcohol to empty glasses
    4) Place candles, incense and flowers
    5) Light up the candles and incense
    6) Pray
    7) Sing any kind of religious song (in my case Ave Maria)
    8) Drink alcohol
    9) Cremate the shrimps
   10) Dig a hole by a tree and place the cremated shrimps
   11) Drink alcohol


Funeral I I (Melted in the Sea of Tears)

























Collected tears (the ice above contains the tears of the artist)





































Ceremony II
 1) Collect tears into the container when ever tear drops
 2) Add to the collected tears to the ice cube maker together with the deceased shrimps
 3) Freeze the ice cube maker
    4) Take the ice out and place in glasses
    5) Place the glasses together with candles, incense and flowers
    6) Light up the candles and incense
    7) Pray
    8) Sing any kind of religious song (in my case Ave Maria)
    9) Drink alcohol while the ice is melting.


Exhibition View in Tokyo



















































Exhibition View in London



Prototype V

The tritium light sticks are actually generating the LED.








<First Plan>


















































<Researches>

Brazil nuts are radioactive; needs 10 billion kilograms.

投稿日:01/13/2013 作成者: Kyoko
Tim wrote;


brazil nuts 1,000 to 7,000 pCi/kg of radon-226 and 5,600pCi/kg of potassium-40

bananas 1 pCi/kg of radon-226 and 3,520 pCi/kg of potassium-40

potatoes 1 to 2.5 pCi/kg of radon-226 and 3,400 pCi/kg of potassium-40

DIY Nuclear reactor in US and Sweden

投稿日:01/13/2013 作成者: Kyoko

“Radioactive Boy Scout” 1994

David Charles Hahn (born October 30, 1976), also called the “Radioactive Boy Scout” or the “Nuclear Boy Scout“, is an American who attempted to build a homemade breeder nuclear reactor in 1994, at age 17. A scout in the Boy Scouts of America, Hahn conducted his experiments in secret in a backyard shed at his mother’s house in Commerce Township, Michigan. While his reactor never reached critical mass, Hahn attracted the attention of local police who found radioactive materials in the trunk of his car. His mother’s property was cleaned up by the Environmental Protection Agency ten months later as a Superfund cleanup site. Hahn attained Eagle Scout rank in the Boy Scouts of America shortly after his reactor was dismantled.[1]

While the incident was not widely publicized initially, it became better known following a 1998 Harper’s article by journalist Ken Silverstein. Hahn is also the eponymous subject of Silverstein’s 2004 book, The Radioactive Boy Scout.



Swedish man arrested for building nuclear reactor in kitchen, 2011

A Swedish man who kept a blog chronicling his attempts to build a homemade nuclear reactor in his apartment has shut down the project after being arrested by police and held under suspicion of breaching radioactive material safety laws.  If convicted of an offence, he faces heavy fines or up to two years in jail.



↑The bottle of chewing gum sold in 2011 says words of Madam Curie: There is nothing that you should be scared of in your life. All should be understood.

:Th






Tried heating up nails to get the heat and it stank a lot!

Changed to BQ style with cole which seems o all right, at least less smelly.





































The power up electronic circuits!

投稿日:01/20/2013 作成者: Kyoko

電子回路パワーアップ!

 Now working with a heat pack (ホッカイロ) with an aid of powered up electronic circuits.The lights has      been on for half a day now… I wonder how long it is going to go.

I have managed to break it by spilling water when I carried. 













Amano Shrimp Couple and Tanishi Family

投稿日:01/27/2013 作成者: Kyoko

ヤマトヌマエビ的エビのカップルとタニシの家族

It was full of life and death this weekend.

We have started to try out with the biotope to go with the nuclear power station and went to buy stuff from a pet shop in Kabukicho. There were beautiful waterweed and all these beautiful fish in tank. But it was rather strange to see fish and weed from Brazil or Africa.  A bit of a flesh trade that was. In the end we bought  a pair of shrimp which was next to Amano shrimp around 2 cm which we were going to buy initially. But the Amano shrimp was bigger than we expected. So we bought the one which was smaller. They all come in a beautiful plastic bags separately, beautifully brown up in a round shape. There is something strange about it.

We brought back a couple of Amano shrimp- alike, a couple of shell (Tanishi) and waterweed. The shrimp and shell is originated in Japan and we were proud of our choice.  We have added stone from my garden and water from the store and little animals to the glass jar. We didn’t know much about them and soon discovered there are man and woman in these spices!  Couldn’t tell which is which but it was so nice to imagine that the shrimp and shell are on date. After a while we have discovered that there was a baby shell. Apparently, a shell get pregnant and keep the bay inside herself until a hard shell forms inside and then release the baby inside. So the shell was pregnant we bought it and it was in labour while we were having a drink. Wow.

It was looking good for a while but after the dinner, we had noticed that the shrimp was upside down and  moving only a little and the shell was also not climbing the glass  as it suppose to. And the shrimp was in the bottom and hardly moved. We suspected it might be the stones from my garden. The red brick stones in my garden were bought via internet, a pretty ones but cheap as well bought via Japanese company but god knows where it was brought from and how it was treated to make them look clean. So we rescued the shrimp which was alive with a spoon and thinking it would also heart him/her, but better than being in the toxic water.

The shrimp and the shells were the first pet I ever paid money for. I had a cat and birds when I was a child but I was responsible to look after a bird and one day I forgot to take the bird cage back in a winter night, and the next morning, the bird was dead. Since then I swore my self never to keep a pet if I cannot look after. The first pet ever was dead/ reproduced.

On the following day, one shrimp was dead.  I went to get flesh water from the local shrine, it supposes to be better to use water which has many bacterias and living creatures inside, as well as the sand and a new couple of shrimp. After placing everything back, the shrimp in better condition and the shell family is happy sticking on the glass wall. I am wondering if I add the new shrimp couple, it would be too crowded in there..

The 2nd Tanishi

投稿日:02/23/2013 作成者: Kyoko

The 2nd tanishi now has children. Quite a few of them, I think.

The condition is not that good. Strange web like thing is growing in there.


Shrimp #5

投稿日:01/20/2013 作成者: Kyoko
I bought another shrimp. I asked the shop keeper about the shrimp. The shop keeper said “shrimp is sensitive with water and not good at lack of oxygen. It would be difficult to keep it without air pump. It would be better to keep killifish (medaka) .” Well the how-to for a biotope with shrimps says we would be told so by a shopkeeper but it is possible. I have been putting the duck weed in a separate bucket for a week and changed water a few times. So I am hoping that it would wash away the pesticide by now. But  I am not sure any more. I bought the shrimp by knowing that I might kill it.


Came home and…

投稿日:01/29/2013 作成者: Kyoko

家に帰ったら・・・

I think all the shrimps are dead. They are red in the neck also. I am so so so sorry…


Oh, no. 

投稿日:01/29/2013 作成者: Kyoko

ああ、申し訳ないです。

Yesterday morning, I thought, one of the shrimp was dead. It was lying on the bottom of the jar not moving at tall. I was very sad. The first animal I bought with my own money in my life was  dead.  I was thinking to give the name which I was thinking of for the grave. Then I thought about the saying that a scientist does not give  a name to an animal for an experiment. I now know why. It is sad.  When I got back home, I tried to get the dead shrimp out from the jar but I was too tired so I added the new couple to the jar so that they won’t die of hunger, and then went to bed.  This morning, I checked the jar. Then I couldn’t find the dead shrimp, but in stead, I found a shrimp with reddish neck. I am totally puzzled.

I called the pet shop, found out the name of the shrimp next to the Numaebi (Amano shrimp), it was mimami numaebi (Southern Amano Shrimp). According to the shop keeper, Amano Shrimp does change its color into the blue or red. If a shrimp is sick, it also change the color into red. Oh, no. He/she is suffering. He/she is not changing into a real read lobster or anything like that.I called the pet shop, found out the name of the shrimp next to the Numaebi (Amano shrimp), it was mimami numaebi (Southern Amano Shrimp). According to the shop keeper, Amano Shrimp does change its color into the blue or red. If a shrimp is sick, it also change the color into red. Oh, no. He/she is suffering. He/she is not changing into a real read lobster or anything like that.

Oh, no. I should hurry and rescue my poor shrimp.







シュリンプのお葬式(カクテル風)

I am afraid it sounds a bit weird but I had decided to do a little funeral for the shrimps. I realized that I had so much variety for the funeral, Buddhism, Christian, Voodoo, and so many others, as well as Burial or Cremation. Though, I didn’t have enough time to prepare much for this because the shrimps were getting rotten. Decided to improvise with things I can find in my neighborhood.

It was unusually warm day for February. I set up a trey with incenses, candles, flowers, alcohol.  The one glass contains duck weed, the other one contains Campari soda, three glass in the middle contain Sake, and on the top  3 shrimps lied with a flower. It represents this life, the next life, purification (oh, I sound mad). Frankly, the incense was necessary, because the “body” smelled. Only religious song I could sing was a catholic song in Latin which I remember from school. I felt very strange but it was necessary and beautiful in a way. And the ritual was in Buddhism I guess because only funeral I attended was Buddhism for my grand parents. I have to admit that it is a bit sick that in the end it turned out as a shrimp cocktail.

The next step was a cremation. I found a pice of charcoal so I put the shrimps on top and burned it in the garden. Soon, they smelled rather yummy. I could have eaten but I am not that brave or crazy, so I continued to burn them until they were black, to the ash. I have berried them and poor sake over it. And the ritual was finished. I was very drank by the end of it. I though the idea was completely kitschy and damn but it was not too bad in the end. I guess it was the power of the ritual.










group exhibition in Ebata's garden in Tokyo



In London. Alasdair Duncan is developing the Nutopia





















Later in Tokyo, the plants are growing and change through the season. 












I find this article is good :-)


http://www.annualreviews.org/doi/abs/10.1146/annurev-marine-010816-060733

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