Discoverers of Onkalo, 2018
A mystery play in collaboration with johnmichael Rossi
Zabludowicz Collection, Sarvisalo, Finland
Photo: Tim Bowditch
The year is 2112. A new world order has been established at the start of the 22nd century, following the onslaught of natural disasters and world-wide wars, both cyber and physical. All borders have dissolved. The ills of the 20th and 21st centuries have rendered us, Postinternationalist and Postnuclear. Society has de-nuclearized, but we are burdened by the waste left behind by our not-so-distant ancestors.
Disseminating Onkalo is an interactive participatory performance, which borrows the format of murder mystery games, to explore issues surrounding the world’s first nuclear repository, Onkalo, located in the municipality of Eurajoki, Finland. Using dystopian speculative fiction, this piece engages an invited audience to immerse itself in a playful yet compelling experience that addresses the significant issue humanity faces in regards to the storage and disposal of nuclear waste.
Format of the Event:
A set number of ‘signifiers’ are invited to this event as special guests who will take on a semi-scripted and improvised role. (Note: while the characters are a set number, there is the potential to increase participants, with a chorus of observers/helpers).
Upon arrival, the ‘signifiers’ choose a number, at random, which establishes an order for selecting a prop or costume/accessory, which will in turn, determine the character that they will be playing for the duration of the event. A character-specific playscript will be distributed once the roles are determined.
The play’s structure will be composed of three scripted scenes, each concluding with a prompt for an improvised score of actions, variously determined by the personalised scripts.
REACTOR-129, chairperson of the Ontological Order of Onkalati
REACTOR-131, chairperson of the Ontological Order of Onkalati
PROFESSOR UMWELT, a Semiologist, a Professor Emeritus and a gambling addict
DOCTOR RAMESSES, an Egyptologist with a cat allergy
DONNA, a cryogenically unfrozen Donna Haraway
SEARGANT RABBID, Secretary of the Department of Energy, a.k.a ‘Energizer Bunny’
DAEDALUS, a hostile architect and a claustrophobic
SPEC-8, an artificial brain, an astrologist and a life coach
PAALLIKKO PALAA, a nuclear waste management expert-optimist from Onkalo
HERRA SIRPALEET, a representative of the Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority
ELOI F. ASHER, an up-and-coming dystopian science fiction writer
YURI, a physical geologist with a speciality in seismology
RAY, a proud proselytizer of the Ray Cat religion and lover of all things feline