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Following the environmental impact of the Fukushumi Nuclear disaster 10 years on.
The Ruskin are thrilled to share news of DPhil's Jason Waite, co-editor of the book 'Don't Follow The Wind', 10 years on from the Fukushima Nuclear disaster.
Don't Follow the Wind - Book Cover / Zak Group
On March 11, 2021, we enter the tenth year of the ongoing planetary disaster caused by the triple meltdown of the nuclear reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station. A catastrophe that continues to be urgent because of the widespread radioactive contamination and challenging owing to the durational nature of the invisible isotopes.
To mark this day, Sternberg Press is publishing the twelfth volume of the Critical Spatial Practices series, which focuses on “Don’t Follow the Wind,” the collaborative project situated in the radioactive Fukushima exclusion zone. The book explores the long-term environmental crisis in the coastal Japanese region through this ongoing, inaccessible exhibition, which maintains traces of human presence amid the fallout of the March 2011 nuclear reactor meltdown that displaced entire towns. This volume includes new texts by feminist theorist Silvia Federici, art historians Noi Sawaragi and Sven Lütticken, and political philosopher Jodi Dean that address the question: What can art do in a continuing catastrophe when destruction and contamination have made living impossible?
The exhibition is located inside the exclusion zone, an evacuated radioactive area established after the nuclear disaster that forcibly separated residents from their homes, land, and community. In cooperation with former residents, participating artists installed newly commissioned works at sites in the exclusion zone. Although the exhibition opened in March 2015, the zone is still inaccessible to the public—the exhibition, like the radiation, is virtually invisible. The exhibition can only be viewed when restrictions are lifted and people are permitted to return. This might take several years or decades—a period that could extend beyond our lifetime. While nuclear contamination has displaced and ruptured communities, new temporary and translocal formations have emerged among the residents who have lent their sites, other former residents collaborating on the project, and the artists, curators, and cultural workers.
The project was codeveloped and curated by the collective Don’t Follow the Wind, whose members include Chim↑Pom (initiators), Kenji Kubota, Eva & Franco Mattes, and Jason Waite. The participating artists include Ai Weiwei, Chim↑Pom, Nikolaus Hirsch & Jorge Otero-Pailos, Meiro Koizumi, Eva & Franco Mattes, Grand Guignol Mirai, Aiko Miyanaga, Ahmet Öğüt, Trevor Paglen, Taryn Simon, Nobuaki Takekawa, and Kota Takeuchi.
Don’t Follow the Wind
Edited by Nikolaus Hirsch and Jason Waite
Design by Zak Group
With texts by Jodi Dean, Silvia Federici, Sven Lütticken, Noi Sawaragi, and Jason Waite Contributions by Don’t Follow the Wind, Ai Weiwei, Chim↑Pom, Nikolaus Hirsch & Jorge Otero-Pailos, Meiro Koizumi, Eva & Franco Mattes, Grand Guignol Mirai, Aiko Miyanaga, Ahmet Öğüt, Trevor Paglen, Taryn Simon, Nobuaki Takekawa, and Kota Takeuchi.
Jason Waite is a curator, cultural worker, and part of the collective Don’t Follow the Wind. His work is focused on forms of practice that produce agency and radical imaginaries for different ways of living together. He co-curated Provisional Statecraft: Self-Organizing a Future in 3 & 1⁄2 Acts at Yeouido Park, Seoul; The Real Thing? at Palais de Tokyo, Paris; and Maintenance Required at the Kitchen, New York. He was curator at Casco Art Institute, where he co-curated White Paper: The Law by Adelita Husni-Bey and The Common Sense by Melanie Gilligan. DPhil at Ruskin School of Art, University of Oxford and Christ Church.
Nikolaus Hirsch is an architect, educator, curator, and editor. He is the artistic director of CIVA in Brussels and cocurator of the German Pavilion at the 2021 Venice Biennale; previously he was dean of the Hochschule für Bildende Künste – Städelschule and director of Portikus in Frankfurt. In addition to his architectural work (including Dresden Synagogue, unitednationsplaza, Do We Dream Under the Same Sky, and Cybermohalla Hub), he is the cofounder of e-flux Architecture.