Tuesday, March 15, 2011

post-human, post-apocalyptic proliferation

This article came across my Google Reader recently via Arts and Letters. Chernobyl has fascinated me since first I heard about its burgeoning ecological renascence; Shukman describes the "irradiated eden" with vivid imagery. Paradoxically vivified by post-nuclear, post-human, and indeed post-apocalypic circumstance, Chernobyl's primeval ecology has asserted itself. Shukman's account of a utopic forest, drenched in radiation and host to a potential plethora of genetic mutations and micro-evolutions, provides a "real" example of Baudrillard's Telecomputer Man. The technological, the biological, and the toxic have fused in a post-nuclear horror.

As I read, I couldn't help but think of a visual analogue to the micro-evolutionary processes occurring in the Exclusion Zone. There is something about Tetsumi Kudo's so-called post-humanism that screams idyllic mutation and mutilation; an eerie and ultimately unsettling coalescence of the human, the natural and the mechanized.

Tetsumi Kudo: Love (L’Amour) (1964). Chairs, cotton, plastic, polyester, electrical diagrams, vinyl tubing, hair, painted wood box, and audiotape, 39 3/8 x 47 x 23 5/8 in.

Tetsumi Kudo: Pollution—Cultivation—New Ecology (Pollution—cultivation—nouvelle √©cologie) (1971-1972). wood, artificial flowers, artificial soil, cotton, plastic, polyester, adhesive, wire, transistors, snail shell, hair, mirror, paint 18-3/4 x 23-3/4 x 14-1/8 inches

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