The artists of the ARTEFACT project set a new Ukraine (and, maybe, the world) record by creating the largest digital sculpture “Chernobyl Lights” at the “Duga” radar, which is also the largest laser installation in Ukraine on October 23. “Chernobyl Lights” could be observed for about an hour during the filming of the documentary art film “ARTEFACT: Chernobyl’s first Radioactive Rave” directed by Valerii Korshunov. The record is registered by the Book of Records of Ukraine.
The sculpture was created by the film director and author of the project Valerii Korshunov and media artist Yaroslav Kostenko. The presentation began with a theatrical performance, after which, for almost an hour in the complete darkness of the Chernobyl zone, the “Duga” was shining. It turned into a grandiose art object — a digital installation “Chernobyl Lights” and for the first time in its existence radiated light and music. The event was attended by more than 40 representatives of Ukrainian and foreign media, as well as several film crews that recorded this historic event for documentary films.
The over-the-horizon radar station “Duga”, a Soviet station for early detection of intercontinental ballistic missile launches, was built in the secret town Chernobyl-2. It was called “Russian Woodpecker” abroad for the characteristic sound that was heard around the world when it turned on. Its dimensions 700×135 meters are impressive, it is one of the most recognizable symbols of Chernobyl and Soviet propaganda.
Thanks to the laser installation “Chernobyl Lights” “Duga” became a unique large-scale media art object of Ukraine and shone with new meanings. It gave a new signal to the world about the Ukrainian liberation from the Soviet past and the realization of its own uniqueness. At the same time, thanks to the latest technology, art “Duga” has not changed its historical appearance. The digital installation was complemented by a special soundtrack based on the sounds of Chernobyl, which was created for the documentary by musician Rassvet. The main goal of the project is to rethink the Chernobyl tragedy in the past of the Ukrainian nation and to search for new cultural meanings in our time.
“Today we are creating the largest laser installation in Ukraine in order to show that the awful symbols of the Soviet Union can become great art objects of modern Ukraine. Chernobyl is our past that we cannot change. However, we must formulate our own messages to change the perception of Ukraine in the context of the Chernobyl tragedy now and in the future. The best form that is understandable to the whole world is art. For the second year, we create digital artefacts of Chernobyl to rethink not only atomic but also information disaster "- said the author of the idea, director and producer of the film “Artefacts of Chernobyl” Valeriy Korshunov.
At the end of this momentous cultural event, representatives of the Book of Records of Ukraine set a record and presented diplomas to the project organizers Svetlana and Valerii Korshunov and the representative of the Ukrainian Cultural Foundation Bogdan Androsyuk. Filming this day will be the final part of the documentary art film “Artefacts of Chernobyl”, which has references to artifacts of the Strugatsky brothers' novel “Roadside Picnic”, when objects called artifacts appeared in the exclusion zone.
"Many thanks to the authors of the ARTEFACT project for unforgettable impressions and emotions! Grandiose! I hope your bright message about rethinking the mistakes of the past, the unacceptable repetition of the devastating catastrophes generated by man and the deliberate dissemination of information have been heard on the other side of the planet (satellites are always on guard). Your performance should be repeated, and more than once, for a wide range of people from different countries right here, in the Exclusion Zone, at the “Duga” object — a symbol of the total secrecy of the Soviet past. Secrecy and the informational manipulations generated by it that is the main lesson of Chernobyl, which the world must recognize! We always support those who bring Lights! ”- Anna Korolevskaya, scientific director of the Chernobyl Museum and chief expert on Chernobyl-related topics.
After the HBO series, Chernobyl greatly attracted the attention of the whole world. Right now, it is important to create our own cultural products in order to answer the request about the modern perception of Chernobyl by Ukrainians and show that Ukraine not only survived the atomic catastrophe but learned how to live with it and has a unique experience, which is important to share with the world.
Documentary art cinema deals with contemporary cultural artefacts around Chernobyl. The film answers the question, why it’s necessary to make large-scale cultural projects in Chernobyl to draw attention to the problems of media literacy and fake news today. The authors conducted a lot of research work with the informational component of the Chernobyl tragedy and its impact on modern culture.
The project of documentary art film “Artefacts of Chernobyl” received support and a high score according to experts of the Ukrainian Cultural Fund in a competition among 170 projects. “Artefacts of Chernobyl” will be duplicated in 3 languages and presented on Ukrainian television and several international festivals.
The film is shot with the support of the Ukrainian Cultural Foundation, the Ministry of Culture of Ukraine, the Ministry of Information Policy, the Ministry of Energy and Environmental Protection, the Ukrainian Institute, the Sector Branch State Archive of the SBU, the State Agency for the Management of the Exclusion Zone, the Chernobyl Museum, the Carbon Media Art Residence, and the Center Pripyat Com.