Nonetheless, this tract is a sign of things to come: the neo-avant-garde would go on to desublimate the nuclear aesthetics of the postwar era. As for the situationists: in , Guy Debord and Asger Jorn planned a journed titled Mutant, which never saw the light of day. For Debord and Jorn, the powers that be were speculating on a life reduced to survival, as embodied by the nuclear fallout shelter. These shelters, the situationists note, will obviously not offer real protection in the case of nuclear war, but protection was only a pretext used to integrate people ever more tightly into a social-economical order that depends on the renunciation of real desires and their channeling into artificial needs.
Survival as the opposite of life, if rarely voted for so clearly as by the buyers of shelters in , can be found at all levels of the struggle against alienation. With the ecological movement gaining momentum towards the end of the s, concerns over mutation increasingly also concerned other species—not just the post- human. In Holland, for instance, the Kabouter movement that emerged from the ashes of Provo in the late s painted a grim picture of impending monstrous mutations. Protagonist Roel van Duijn argued that the mere collectivization of the means of production was insufficient; they needed to be transformed , beginning with energy: no nuclear energy, but high-tech windmills.
In a Kabouter publication, Hans Korteweg and Roel van Duijn referenced an anonymous Philips-Duphar employee who sketched a possible scenario for the near future:. Just imagine! Wasps with a diameter of 40 cm who will attack little children in the streets!
Butterflies who will only feed on blood protoplasm! Here, countercultural ecologists use provocative pulp horror imagery, seeking to marshal fears about humans falling prey to mutant insects. Ultimately, then, this scenario of animal mutation is highly anthropocentric. But what if we are the animals? Starting in the s and throughout his career, Sigmar Polke showed an interest in radiation. And from to , he produced several series of Uranografien, or autoradiographs of uranium samples.
The index of radiation here becomes a sign for the grandeur of the artist-magus. While there is a tendency to interpret indexicality in crudely causal terms, we have to acknowledge that the index only starts to signify when it is interpreted as a sign. A watch that stopped running during the Hiroshima blast can be read as an index of that moment; a photograph of such as watch is a second-degree index that can enter into circuits of curatorial and critical practice.
Video footage recorded by automated cameras in the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant can become part of a video by Philippe Rouy, in which the disturbances in the image caused by radiation becomes not only evidence of contamination, but also a reflection on visibility and a visuality.
A number of artistic practices of the s used the exhibition space as an experimental setup, the white cube as a camera lined with photographic paper or a cloud chamber in which, through aesthetic Gedankenexperimente, radiation could become sensate, sensible. Precisely because such practices took the modernist critique of representation to its limit, the zone of abstraction that is the white cube could become a radiation-sensitive device.
Rather than using technology to reveal cosmic background radiation, Brouwn tries to create a kind of imaginary awareness of indexical affectedness through consciousness-raising. As in his work with radio transmitters, the focus is on invisible forces and invisible information rendered here though photos but ultimately mostly though language. Some of her photo prints show the plants in situ, printed in dye extracted from those very plants—dye that contains traces of toxic heavy metals, and potentially of radiation, even while fading over time.
Kriemann engages with and intervenes in the nuclear archive, taking snapshots of the ongoing process of planetary nuclearization. Vitrification converts radioactive waste from a volatile liquid to a stable solid mass, which resembles polished black glass. The piece of glass will supposedly be installed in a void alcove at the museum in Indeed, for all his critical pretensions, Paglen tends to fetishize sublime technology.
The object is a dark crystal veiled in a private vacuum: irreducible to its own pieces, and equally irreducible to its outward relations with other things. Pieces like Black Square and Trinity Cube are a sublime version of freeport art: the withdrawal of the object comes with a numinous frisson.
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They work in precisely the way they have been designed to: they represent a negative aesthetic of the techno-sublime. Could the zone be declared safe ish sooner rather than later due to political and economic motives? The political economy of the nuclear has to be factored in. To what extent are these experiments sensate?
Art constitutes a museum of more or less gloriously failed tactics. In this museum, there are some projects that go beyond the standard critical unveiling of hidden wrongs in their performative making-sensible. Subsequently, Arakawa and his associates prepared soup from these vegetables. The imposition on the participants, who had to decide for themselves whether they wanted to eat this ambivalent soup, made it clear that there is no outside. In the wake of a spectacular meltdown, subtle and accumulating effects are everywhere.
We are mutants inside the world-laboratory. What we are waiting for is unclear to us.
This text builds on the earlier article "Apocalypse Not Now" in the Nordic Journal of Aesthetics , and on the seminar "Nuclear Aesthetics" I taught at the Vrije Universiteit in , which will be the basis of an issue of the journal Kunstlicht. It is the moment of disorientation—a loss of direction as well as of the Orient in relation to the Occident. The unhappy consciousness of fascism and xenophobia arises from this inability to orient: as a response, it offers an easy identity politics and an aestheticized politics of technology.
More broadly, such a disorientation can be seen as a desirable and necessary deterritorialization of contemporary capitalism, which facilitates accumulation beyond temporal and spatial constraints. War is the technique of disruption par excellence, vastly more effective than Uber and Airbnb. We participate in war because we consume its cruel images, and often at a mediated distance.
All this I have watched from my living room in Beirut. Images do all these things in a particular mode and manner depending on the specificities of their respective medium and form. So what exactly is the place of violence in activist image journalism and in modes of visual protest? And what may be the limit of such violence with regard to the violences of the neo colonial order?
The human body as a medium is not a new phenomenon. Traditional Chinese philosophy and religious practices, as well as spiritualism in the nineteenth century, had featured different versions of the body-as-a-medium within different epistemological modes. The increasingly pervasive computational environments bring the human body to the center of current media studies, especially in the new media scholarship on digitization and networks. We can perhaps talk about private property. As one of the few domains where cooperation occurred regardless of political preference or personal identity, the market held untapped potential as a political site.
Eventually shifting his works away from the metrics of supply, Gonzalez-Torres recast them as dynamic sources of doubt according to the legal frameworks to which he and they were unavoidably subject. But what does vulnerability actually mean?
Is it being able to acknowledge a state of pain or insecurity, embracing the feeling of coming undone? At the cost of headaches, a bloated stomach, the inability to articulate a sentence. A mental-physical feeling of paralysis. I now suspect that people spend a lot of time and effort hiding in this way.
Could I overcome my terror of falling apart if I allowed myself to rely on others, on you? Click to start a discussion of the article above. Moshe Barasch Routledge, , Richard Howard Hill and Wang, , The Dyn Circle in Mexico , eds. I am grateful to Andreas Neufert for making this script available to me. Matta selected preexisting images but also used one of his own drawings of Les Grands Transparents.
Rollo Myers Destiny Books, , Internationale Situationniste no. James Cleugh Harcourt, , Ecotourism encourages tourists to have a minimal impact on the natural environment. Ecotourism promotes travel to natural destinations, such as coral reefs, instead of developed destinations such as casino s. Immigrant s have sought opportunities, particularly in the United States and Canada, for hundreds of years. Immigrants from Europe, Asia, Africa, and South America have contributed to the development of the continent.
Immigrants or children of immigrants to North America have become scientific, business, and cultural leaders. Yet Barrio Chino counts 3, families of Chinese heritage within its boundaries. Many immigrants are refugee s. According to the United Nations, a refugee is a person who resides outside the country of their nationality for fear of being persecute d.
Refugees may fear economic hardship, or political or social pressure. Refugees may also immigrate because of a natural disaster. Major refugee populations in Canada include residents fleeing civil war in Sri Lanka, political oppression in Pakistan, and violence in Colombia. Major refugee populations in the United States include residents fleeing poverty in Ethiopia, political oppression in Vietnam and Cuba, and earthquake s in Haiti. Since , Ottawa, Canada, has been the site for World Refugee Week, which features the work of artists, academics, and activists from around the globe.
This celebration of diversity is echoed in the many ethnic and cultural celebrations that take place across North America. Political Geography North America's history and development have been shaped by its political geography. Political geography is the internal and external relationships between its various government s, citizens, and territories. The voyages of these explorers inspired various European countries to claim and colonize North American soil.
Colonizers in the present-day U. Through disease, war, and forced relocation, many native communities were exterminated. The large indigenous territories were reduced to isolated reservation s. Colonizers in present-day Canada set up a reservation system that protected many Indian settlements but isolated them from development. Intermarriage between Europeans and natives created a French-Indian community known today as the Metis.
In Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean, native populations were more fully integrated into the political and social systems. Mestizo s, people of European and indigenous descent, have greatly contributed to the social structure and culture of Latin America. Cooperation and conflict have dramatically affected the relationships between North American countries.
The United States and Canada have the longest non-militarized border in the world, for instance. This peaceful border reflects a stable, cooperative relationship between the two countries. The Mexican-American War resulted in the United States acquiring 1,, square kilometers , square miles of Mexican territory, extending from the Rio Grande to the Pacific Coast. Conflicts have also caused tensions among residents of a single country. This division still influences Canadian politics.
North American countries have also suffered through civil wars. The civil wars that occurred in Honduras, Nicaragua, Guatemala, and El Salvador between the s and s killed tens of thousands of civilian s and pushed many others to immigrate to Mexico, the United States, and Canada. The region also became a hotspot for foreign policy and financial assistance. The United States, for instance, aimed to protect its economic and political interests by backing various military governments and guerrilla groups.
Most significantly, the agreements have reduced or eliminated duties and tariffs. A duty is a kind of tax charged for items purchased outside the country. A tariff is another kind of tax, charged on imports and exports. Both policies have eliminated duties on U. The agreements have also reduced tariffs on goods like coffee, sugar, fruits, and vegetables.
These are important exports for the rest of the continent. While the agreements have eased trade between countries and regions of North America, they have also caused major political and economic problems. Corn imports to Mexico have impoverished many Mexican farmers, who cannot compete against the lower U.
Companies find it less expensive to manufacture goods in these places for many reasons. Wages are lower and there are fewer health and safety regulations. Because there are often fewer restrictions on child labor and fewer opportunities for education, many companies find many more workers.
These cheaper labor markets reduce the strength of the U.
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Most immigration is fueled by poverty. Immigration can be a long, difficult process.
It involves more than just the physical migration from one nation to another. The governments of both countries must agree to the migration. Immigrants must often learn a new language and culture, including ways of dressing, eating, and socializing. Immigrants wishing to become citizens must also take classes to prove they are loyal to their new country. Often, immigrants must depend on luck: In the United States and Canada, lottery systems often determine which immigrants can legally migrate.
As a result of these difficulties, many impoverished immigrants from Mexico, the Caribbean, and Central America have illegally settled in developed countries.
Illegal immigrants migrate for the same reasons legal immigrants do—to look for better economic and political opportunities. Critics of illegal immigration say these immigrants are more likely to commit a crime and use public welfare programs, such as those that help pay for education and medical care. Critics say these immigrants do not contribute to society by paying taxes that fund these public programs. Future Issues After the terrorist attacks of September 11, , the United States and all of North America became more concerned with safety. National security at the international, regional, and domestic level will continue to be an important issue.
Internationally, the developed countries of North America, especially the United States, continue to negotiate their diplomat ic presence in the world while protecting themselves from terrorist attacks at home. Drug trafficking has become more pronounced regionally, especially along the Panama-Colombia border and the U. This trade has been linked to the extreme violence that currently afflicts northern Mexico, damaging political relations between Mexico and the United States.
The regulation or reduction of carbon emission s is perhaps the most important part of reducing global warming and minimizing the effects of climate change. As part of the international agreement known as the Copenhagen Accord, some North American countries agreed to reduce emissions. Costa Rica pledged to be entirely carbon neutral by Also called the northern lights.
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You cannot download interactives. What does it mean to be a citizen? Citizenship is the legal recognition of belonging to a specific nation, state, or commonwealth. What does citizenship represent? It may help to form one's identity, but it also comes with responsibilities such as following the laws of a particular place. Different nations, states, and commonwealths have different duties for their citizens and different processes for naturalization.
Use these classroom resources to help teach your students about the obligations and responsibilities that accompany citizenship.