Slouching Towards Yucca Mountain (2011-2012) is an experimental "SciFi Punk Western" film that shifts the way we look at the complex, perhaps unsolvable environmental problem of radioactive waste. The film features a series of fictional time-travelers who explore the landscape of the post-atomic American West. A decade ago the U.S. government began developing Yucca Mountain in Nevada as a deep geological repository for high-level radioactive waste. Due to geological faults and climate uncertainty, and faulty science, the repository project was terminated. However a seven-mile long maze of excavated tunnels exist at the site beneath the mountain. Because there is no master plan for its permanent disposal, waste sits in temporary storage at hundreds of sites across the United States. Set in an ambiguous time period, spanning three centuries, the film presents a non-linear narrative that plays out in the abandoned tunnels and "empty wastelands" of southern Nevada and Death Valley, California. Serious radiological issues are explored using tropes and clichés of the Western and science fiction film genres such that a subtext of environmental exposé develops. With a mixture of humor and dead seriousness the film reveals American values and beliefs about nature, conquest, and environmental justice. Project collaborators who joined director, Eve Andrée Laramée are Courtney "scrapworm" Wrenn (primary collaborator and editor), Chelsea Noggle, Michel Tallichet, Emily "DJ Dirtgirl" Montoya and Benji Geary.
Eve Andrée Laramée is an interdisciplinary artist working at the confluence of art and science, specializing in the environmental and health impacts of Cold War atomic legacy sites. Her projects investigate water resources contaminated by radioactive isotopes from weapons development and testing, and nuclear waste disposition. Through tracking the invisible traces left behind by the nuclear weapons complex and its "peaceful" dopplegänger, the nuclear energy industry, her work archives our shared atomic legacy. In 1980 Laramée began zeroing-in on sites where uranium mining/milling, plutonium production for nuclear weapons and the nuclear energy industry have contaminated surface water, well water and deep aquifer water with radioactive isotopes. This invisible contamination is never disposed of, it is dispositioned – placed out of sight and out of mind. Film and visual art allows for multiple modes of visualizing the invisible; direct action through environmental social-sculpture interventions deployed directly into communities raise environmental awareness, and activate community participation in remediation efforts. Awareness of this spatial history sharpens our ethics and politics in our behaviors and social interactions. Born in Los Angeles, Laramée divides her time between Brooklyn, NY, Santa Fe, NM. Her work has been exhibited throughout the U.S., Europe, Asia and South America.