Douglas Park, born: 23-01-1972, United Kingdom, visual artist, writer (of literary prose and critical essays, both mostly art connected), sometime exhibition curator (and increasingly all practices and roles combined), currently U.K based and internationally active
Tuesday, March 12, 2013
Glow Boys, 1999
Film by Mark
Featuring Douglas Park with Nick
16mm film to video
14min., colour, sound
A study of the
psychological state of the contemporary British nuclear industry.
dramatises original research undertook over the course of a year.
The script is
developed from the pitch black humour of nuclear contract workers Waller met
whilst travelling across the UK, from Wylfa in Anglesey, to Sizewell in
This is a survey of a strange marriage between the maintained
decrepitude of post war science.
As "Nuclear Contract Worker" on set in canteen-scene (Mark E. Smith of The Fall, another Mark Ærial Waller regular, was "The Caterer")
In Glow Boys the disaster is brooding, waiting to happen.
The film takes place in a British nuclear power plant in the company of contract workers who are also known as 'glow boys'. This term was an in-joke at the Three Mile Island reactor during the clean up operation in the late 1970's. Due to a shortage of contractors the same people would return with new identities.
The glow boys or ‘sponges’ would pick up more and more radiation as well as more and more pay, leading good but short lives. The film and it’s companion ‘Interview with a Nuclear Contract Worker’ is based on extensive research, visits to reactors across Britain, and talks with shift workers, locals and nuclear scientists. The musical score is by contemporary atonal composer Paul Clark and includes a specially commissioned musical performance by Mark E. Smith of The Fall. Interview With a Nuclear Contract Worker, 1999, 9mins The character under interview is an extra from Glow Boys. He weaves a complex narration of his experience on the film set, shifting between his work in the reactor and his analysis of the 'nuclear racket'. Constantly in a state of flux, his conversation shifts from the film time, to the moment of being filmed, to his personal time away from the set. He is a temporal nomad, unconstrained by the controls of temporal designation. “If you think about it, we are, in some way, more celestial, almost divinely appointed. It couldn't happen without us.”