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Architectural animation studio Factory Fifteen have just released this short film, shot on location during the 2011 Unknown Fields Division expedition from the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone to Baikonur Cosmodrome. The landscapes experienced have been reimagined as stage sets for a post nuclear future, with members of the division recast as actors navigating the ruins.
"In a post-nuclear future, when the earth is riddled with radiation, a new urban developer proposes to regenerate the cities back into civilisation. GAMMA sets out to stabilise the atomic mistakes of yesteryear for the re-inhabitation of future generations. Using its patented 'Nuke-Root' technology; part fungi, part mollusc, GAMMA intends to soak up the radiation and remove it from the irradiated cities, rebuilding them in the process.
Setting out from Baikonur, Kazakhstan, GAMMA launches its RIG_01 BETA and heads east to the iconic disaster sites of 1980's USSR. The film follows a group of researchers investigating GAMMA's practice from launch to deployment. Moving through a trail of unsuccessful ships across the desert, we follow the researchers from Aralsk's littered sea bed east to the Ukraine.
GAMMA begins its quest of nuclear stability in the Ukraine; Pripyat is used as a test bed for the deployment of GAMMA's patented 'Nuke-root' organisms. Intended to soak up the radiation, the roots infiltrate the ground and built structures to absorb the ‘nuclear nasty's'. As with many urban developers, GAMMA's execution is cheap and ineffective. The city is in turn rendered more radioactive, broken and uninhabitable than before, only now with an outbreak of growing 'Nuke-roots'. The film follows the researchers through the ruins of the 70's utopia, moving across a whole city that consists solely of desolation and total abandon, the researchers witness the aftermath of GAMMA's almighty cock-up."
GAMMA was filmed by Joanthon Gales in the Ukraine and Kazakhstan with the Unknown Fields Division, a nomadic studio of architects, artists, designers, writers and filmmakers who journey to the forgotten landscapes and obsolete ecologies of the world to research and create new work.
Factory Fifteen have also produced a video of the process, including special effects make up and 3D animation, watch it here: