So, why were 0100101110101101.ORG, Tod Seelie and crew scrambling mysteriously in the Chernobyl-poisoned, restricted dead Zone of Pripyat? After a few video clues, Plan C is now revealed: to scavenge and haul away parts, assemble a radioactive carnival ride and plop it in Manchester park for people to ride. Yes, really.
Here are the highlights from the crew’s recent, under-reported Radioactivism Talk at the Abandon Normal Devices Festival in the UK, as spied from their live feed:
0100101110101101.ORG’s Eva and Franco Mattes showed up in smelly Hazmat suits they’ve been wearing for two months. For their show and tell, they brought bags of contaminated material and even Chernobyl Vodka samples for the audience (Their Zone guides told them it’s good for keeping away the radiation).
Eva and Franco Mattes explain: Pripyat’s former population of 600,000 is at a constantly transient 4000 now. The town will stay radioactive for 55,000 years, but the hot spots are invisible to people and animals. The radiation spikes the meters (and abortion rates: the 300X the national average), but nature has gone wild on Pripyat with mutated trees and happy forest creatures and cats more radioactive than the ground everywhere.
There are scavengers there, searching for scrap metal, helicopter parts and motors – the city itself sold its vehicle graveyard to China. A city amusement park for the proletariat was about to open right before the Chernobyl disaster struck. So, Plan C took to scavenging too, sawing off bed frames from leaky abandoned hospitals and various loose parts to build a carnival ride. Somehow, they convinced the health and safety authorities and border guards of six countries (bribes?) and hauled the Chernobyl junk chain carousel to Manchester. Passerby were invited to take a spin. And they did. And that’s that. “Nothing lofty.”
Plan C was a project from Eva and Franco Mattes aka 0100101110101101.ORG, Oakland machine artists Steve Valdez and Ryan C Doyle, NYC photog champ Tod Seelie, filmmaker Todd Chandler and DIY artist Jeff Stark and was inspired by Tarkovsky’s The Stalker.