In collaboration with shoe designer Masaya Kushino, Sputniko! is currently developing the work ‘Healing Fukushima (Nanohana Heels)’, a pair of shoes that plant rapeseeds (Nanohana) into soil through mechanical high-heels. Using the heels, rapeseeds are automatically planted as the user walks. The piece is currently in its work-in-progress phase, and is exhibited from March 11th to April 16th, 2012 at Omotesando Gyre’s Hyper Archipelago exhibition, along with works from exhibitors such as architects Arata Isozaki and Ryuji Fujimura.
Experiments by Belarusian scientists have shown that rapeseed blossoms absorb radioactive substances such as Caesium-137 and Strontium-90 from soil. These radionuclides are stored in the blossoms’ stalks and seed coats, but not in the seeds themselves- which is fortunate because the seeds can be turned into Canola oil, the most popular source for biodiesel. This discovery led, in the 2000s, to the planting of rapeseeds by the Ukraine and Belarus governments in over 50,000 hectares of Chernobyl-affected land, in a move to revive the area’s agriculture industry which had been wiped out by the 1986 nuclear accident.
Fukushima, Japan, has also suffered a devastating nuclear power plant accident in March 2011, which is hugely affecting the lives of many people today. There are currently new movements to plant rapeseeds in Fukushima, to de-contaminate the affected land and convert the output of Fukushima agriculture for use in energy supply.The Nanohana Project Network is one of the main agitators of the movement, and is actively holding summits and workshops in Fukushima on the topic. Sputniko!’s ‘Healing Fukushima (Nanohana Heels)’ project is developed as a result of her research at summits run by Nanohana Project Network and numerous visits to the temporary housing units in Fukushima.
The hope is for the project to become a catalyst for the viral spread of discussion on the rebuilding of Fukushima and the impossibilities of a future based on nuclear energy – so please look forward to the release of the final video in summer 2012!