Marking Deep Time Studio: Institute for Wishful Thinking
04.12.2011, 10:08 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

If like FOP, you’ve been waiting for the opportunity to collaborate with the U.S. Government (see FOP’s proposal below), your chance has arrived!  An organization called the Institute for Wishful Thinking (IWT) has just initiated a project called “Artists in Residence for the US Government (self-declared)” and interested parties have until May 8, 2011 to submit project proposals.

For the self-declared residences with the U.S. Government, the IWT is looking for,

“Artists, designers or architects interested in working in the social sphere and also those seeking alternatives to traditional art contexts. We are also soliciting participation from educators, public policymakers, and community leaders either to submit proposals themselves or to work with us as partners as we begin our efforts to place artists in government contexts.”

Proposals will be distributed by the IWT and a book will be published. The proceeds from the book will be used to fund a pilot version of the project, ultimately placing artists in residence with the agency or department of their choice.

Momenta Art in Brooklyn (359 Bedford Avenue) is hosting the IWT for the month of April. Events include an exhibition of submitted proposals and a series of speakers (TBA).

Gnome, FOP 2009

FOP’s submission to the IWT is entitled: Marking Deep Time Studio. We propose to work with the Office of Legacy Management, an element of the Department of Energy, to develop a renewable, long-term (24,000 year) signage system at ten sites in the United States where nuclear test were conducted outside of the Nevada National Security Site (formerly known as the Nevada Test Site).

As consultants to the Office of Legacy Management, we will initiate a collaboration between the Office, masters level design students at a school of design, and ourselves. The task of this collaboration will be to (re)design and (re)install updated marker systems at each location every five years. Unlike current signage at the sites, our marker systems will directly name and warn of the long-term presence and evolving effects and dangers of radioactive materials present. We will work closely with a school of design to plan and re-convene the Marking Deep Time Studio for two consecutive semesters and one summer every five years for the next 50 years. Each year-long design session will: reassess the marking system’s effectiveness and appropriateness in light of social and cultural changes that have taken place; produce a new iteration of the system responsive to changes in design aesthetics and thinking; and update the information conveyed given new data and new scientific understandings of the sites.

FaultlessFOP 2009

Every five years, the studio will deliver its designs to the Office of Legacy Management, which will then contract to manufacture and install each updated marker at its intended site. This approach allows us to address, in a responsive and sustainable way, the issue that has vexed those who are charged with stewardship of these sites:  How do you design a warning system capable of enduring and continuing to “make sense” for the next 960 generations (24,000 years)?  We hope that this first 50-year long series of re-convening studio sessions will catalyze an even longer term engagement with these sites. The Marking Deep Time Studio would constitute the first of the 480 additional 50-year long studios needed to shepherd the sites to the moment when they no longer need to be marked with warnings.

Our full proposal can be found on the IWT website.

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