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ARTIST'S STATEMENT


Perhaps, I'm working off bad karma. In 1993 I was paid by the Department of Energy to develop a Radiation Resource comic-book. At that time, I wasn't aware of the true propaganda value of an entertaining explanation of background radiation as a "fact of life." ("What's so bad about involuntary exposure to ionizing radiation? You're already naturally exposed to cosmic rays . . . etc. . . . and the risk from your allowable exposure is comparable to falling off a bicycle . . .") Ideology is difficult to discern.

This Work uses one seductive PR image from a 1955 General Electric comic-book explaining Atomic Energy (note the year: before any commercial reactors were operating, before the space program got off the ground).

The technocratic establishment plays on our imagination to get massive public support for projects of dubious value. Self-serving greed poses as altruistic enthusiasm. We are lured into trust by promises that technological developments will inevitably lead to unbounded happiness for all, while the fundamental motivator is ever-increasing- profits for the few.

Technically ignorant tax payers depend on the supposed objectivity of scientific experts making fateful decisions. How objective can NASA's employees be about funding for their space program? Who outside of the Nuclear Establishment has the expertise to critique fantastic nuclear projects? "They" feed us images of hope and dismiss objections as technically unqualified "emotion."

Why do we want to colonize outer space? Will we be happier as extraterrestrial employees? AS IF! You CAN be certain that somebody will be making galactic profits off the ADventure. The final frontier is financial.

Stephen Hartzog
s2 at nukes dot org

May 12,1996
Interdisciplinary Arts Center
San Francisco State University

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