Strategy of reduction of radioactivity for Chernobyl

Fernando Cremades

  • 4






  • Summary

    Art, architecture, nuclear radiation, biological systems and fungal spores. My investigation is focus on the study of the Cryptococcus neoformans that appeared in Chernobyl. It has the capacity to use radioactivity as an energy source for making food.

    Full description of the concept

    Chernobyl, April 26th 1986, the Chernobyl Nuclear Plant suffered an accident: a group of repairmen of the plant were trying to increase the power of the nuclear reactor, when suddenly there was an explosion and radioactive material was expelled into the atmosphere. The explosion and fire released large quantities of radioactive particles over URSS and Europe.
    Today, after 30 years, the radiation levels have been decreased. Although it was not adequate for people to live, some families went back to their region. However, since 2012 tourists are allowed to visit the Exclusion Zone for thirty minutes. Also, Japanese scientists have been studying the area after the Fukushima disaster and every day workers have to get into the Exclusion Zone since they are working on The Chernobyl New Safe Confinement that is expected to be completed by 2018.

    In 1991 Einstein College (AEC) researchers, founded evidence that the Chernobyl fungus Cryptococcus neoformans possessed other talent apart of their ability to decompose matter and has the capacity to use radioactivity as an energy source for making food and spurring their growth. “In general we think of radiation as something bad or harmful. Here we have a situation where these fungi appear to benefit, which is unexpected” Arturo Casadevall (Einstein College)

    It is believed there will be workers in the Nuclear plant up to 2050, therefore my proposal for Drone Visions is to develop a prototype carried as an artifact by the workers that spreads out spores of the fungus Cryptococcus neoformans that appeared in Chernobyl after the nuclear accident. The artifact has a geiger counter that detects the radiation in the environment and fans are activated to spread out spores of this fungus.

    What could happen if we increase the production of this fungus in Chernobyl from now up to 2047? This prototype could eventually lead us to test how this fungus and radiation are intrinsically related and the effects that the fungus may have in the surroundings of Chernobyl or Fukushima in the future.

    About the group/Artist

    Fernando Cremades (Spain, 1989) has studied art and architecture in Madrid and his final thesis project was about a strategy of reduction of radioactivity for Chernobyl. In 2015 he moved to New York to study at NYU with professor Natalie Jeremijenko at the Environmental Health Clinic (xCLINIC). Has has worked in Diller Scofidio and Renfro (New York, 2017), Studio Tomas Saraceno (Berlin, 2013), GarcíaGerman (Madrid, 2012) and Nieto Sobejano (Madrid, 2011). His research has been exhibited in Venice Biennale 2018; INJUVE - Sala Amadis (Madrid); Circulo de Bellas Artes (Madrid); Apexart Gallery (New York); Institute of Architects of Madrid; The Prision Art Center (Segovia); Comunidad de Madrid Young Art Center; AEDES Network Campus Berlin; IFEMA Madrid; European University of Madrid; Kunstmuseum Liechtenstein.

    Budget overview

    Living organisms:
    - Petri agar with the Fungus Cryptococcus neoformans
    - Basic Fungi with similar properties: 200$
    - Humidifier to preserve the living organisms

    Construction of the prototype

    - 3D Machine: creating of objects to put together the piece - Developing the 3d of the pieces and printing 20$/hour - 15 hours= 300$
    - Arduino: with Arduino is possible to activate the prototype when the radiation in the environment is higher than expected. I will need an expert in Arduino to make it work. 25$/hour - 10 hours = 250$

    Travel Expenses/ diets/ meetings - 200


    How can other drones co-create with you?

    Yes, I am super interested in collaborate with other disciplines, especially if they are scientists that value an artistic practice.

    What is this?

    Congratulations! You've stumbled upon something special. This Drone Visions is where drones dreams together.


    •  The visions website

    • Do you need electricity? I would like to use solar radiation for the prototype. I will bring my own cables and extensions.

    • Will there be light? no

    • What is your audio footprint?

    • Next random vision