Hot Spots: Radioactivity and the Landscape

Installation by Elizabeth Demaray of Nike Missile made of fabric.

Elizabeth Demaray, Sticks and Stones: The Nike Missile Cozy Project, 2001. Fabric. Photo: Annie Sprinkle.


September 7–December 8, 2018


Artist List

Michael Brill & Safdar Abidi, Naomi Bebo, Erich Berger & Mari Keto, Jeremy Bolen, Edward Burtynsky, Ludovico Centis, Robert Del Tredici, Elizabeth Demaray, Nina Elder, Isao Hashimoto, Adele Henderson, Abbey Hepner, Eve Andrée Laramée, Cynthia Madansky & Angelika Brudniak, Amie Siegel, Claudia X. Valdes, Don’t Follow the Wind (collective composed of Chim↑Pom (initiators), Kenji Kubota, Eva & Franco Mattes, and Jason Waite), Will Wilson, and Claudia X. Valdes. 


Hot Spots: Radioactivity and the Landscape brings together 18 international artists and art collectives who examine the environmental impact of military and industrial production and use of radioactive materials. Artworks in the exhibition scrutinize the nuclear industry, including its day-to-day functions and long-term impact, with an emphasis on the complex issue of radioactive waste. The artists in this exhibition examine this expansive subject through a variety of themes, including rendering the invisible visible, using art as a tool of information disclosure and disruption, and developing the complex language necessary to communicate thousands of years into the future. 

The Buffalo-Niagara region played a critical role in the Manhattan Project and the legacy of residual radioactive material continues to impact the community. Radioactive waste is located in sanctioned sites including Niagara Falls Storage Site and West Valley, and radioactive slag, once used as backfill, remains in parking lots, roads and driveways, continuing to pepper the landscape. Even if there is never another accident, meltdown, or tsunami, industrial activities including power generation, medicine, and household products like smoke detectors, will continue to generate radioactive byproducts. Hot Spots contributes to an ongoing and important international dialogue that demonstrates the perilous nature of radioactive material, illuminates critical environmental issues, and emphasizes the need for longterm solutions.


Hot Spots: Radioactivity and the Landscape is organized by the University at Buffalo Art Galleries and curated by Jennie Lamensdorf and Joan Linder. Support for Hot Spots is provided by Judith Fisher, Technē Institute for Arts and Emerging Technologies, the UB Department of Media Study, the UB Department of Architecture and Planning, and the UB Department of Art.