One, One Thousand | Southern Photography


In search of life
by Andrew Hefter

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Project statement:

On Friday, December 16th, 2011, it was reported that a "white, string or cobweb-like material" was found in spent nuclear fuel tanks at the Savannah River Site, a nuclear research facility near Augusta, Georgia (Source: The Augusta Chronicle, online, The significance of this discovery is the possibility that the substance is biological in nature—a previously unknown life form created through nuclear abiogenesis.

I set out in search of this life and the place it came from, traversing the southern landscape and observing how it has transformed in the presence of nuclear energy and research facilities. Through my own scientific experiments, I attempted to mimic a comparative substance, seeking to understand the nuclear equivalent. The new life remained secret and elusive, with answers to questions kept hidden inside a laboratory shrouded by forest.

With the continued trepidations about nuclear energy in world affairs, uncertainties about the science only grow. While science is openly traded and spoken with perceived transparency, the places where it occurs remain closed off, and only serve to foster distrust among the public. These pursuits are presented as noble and honorable, yet are apparently too dangerous for the laymen to bear witness to. We are told nuclear energy is safe, but given both these secretive practices, and events reported in the media, it becomes difficult to decipher this conjecture.

Should this new life be biological after all, it may still be thought as either science fiction or abomination—because truth so strange is often the most difficult to trust.


Bio and contact:

Andrew Hefter recently graduated from Savannah College of Art and Design with a BFA in photography and minor in graphic design. He is a native of Dallas, Texas and is currently based in Brooklyn, New York.


Andrew Hefter is a Brooklyn, NY, based photographer.
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