︎ London, UK 

Joe Burrows

Joe Burrows is a documentary photographer and visual researcher with an interest in the nuclear anthropocene. His practice utilises open-source intelligence, archives, satellite imagery and deep research practices to visualise the post-atomic era and the power structures and technologies that enabled and perpetuate it.

Find me completing my MA at The Centre for Research Architecture.
Open to commissions and interesting opportunities.

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Joe Burrows

Excepted Matter

(2020 - )

︎︎︎ Archive
︎︎︎ Investigation
︎︎︎ Nuclear Hauntology
︎︎︎ Radioactive Waste

A hauntological reimagining of the British nuclear landscape.

Excepted Matter traces the material contingencies of the nuclear state by reorganising the technologies and infrastructures of radioactivity by the legislation that goverens it.

The materiality of the nuclear state extends far beyond the legally defined bounds of the conspicuous ‘nuclear site’.  Britain is the home of civil nuclear energy and became the third nuclear-armed state in 1952. The physical remains of decades of white-hot innovation and nuclear industrialisation is a vast inventory of radioactive waste, accumulated within cooling ponds and containment structures at power stations, research facilities and processing plants across the UK.  Eventually, the most active of this material will be interred deep within the rock from whence it came, in a deep Geological Disposal Facility. These nuclear sites, demarcated by technologies of securitisation and surveillance, rupture from the landscape at the threshold of material exceptionalism. They are built to hold matter in suspension. It is not, however, the masses of concrete, earth and steel that ultimately organise and attenuate the radioactivity of matter, but contrived legislative instruments.
    Excepted Matter is that which is made to not exist for the sake of the nuclear state, yet persists as a social or cultural past and imposed material future. It can be detected as the traces of radioactive matter dispersed along the fault lines of a folding landscape and across ontological thresholds. It defines a set of hauntological encounters with the nuclear uncanny that we understand to be the British nuclear state.