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What will survive into the future? Which State? Which language? Into Eternity follows the spearheads of this discussion, the Finns, who deal with it by avoiding it altogether. The problem of handling nuclear waste responsibly (a statement which proves to be oximoronic) is so pressing that it seems the only way to resolve it is to release it from its problematization and simply take action. A series of interviews with the private company that is undertaking the 100 year process of depositing Finland’s (only Finland’s) nuclear waste in the Onkalo (literally “hiding place”) displays one of the most provocative collection of blank faces. The repository must store and conceal the material from any disturbance for at least 100,000 years (that number, while inconceivable in itself, is smaller by a factor of 10 than the American one). The curiosity of mankind and the inconsistency of civilizations over time prove to be more of a problem than finding a hiding place in the earth. The scale of time above ground is so fast for such an endeavor that there’s a certain increase in assurance in underground deposits.
In a time when architects are just as concerned with information technologies as they are in structures, this film finds its relevance in showing how the project of sustaining a material condition is a lot simpler than sustaining a conceptual one. How to communicate to the future victim/perpetrator of this hiding place that they should not approach it? What is the form of this “marker?” What is a monument to and of the future? A multilingual explanatory stelae? Infographics? An emotion (a la Eisenman meets Lebbeus)? Encrypted or conceited message to deter or mislead visitors? Or is the best communication not to have any at all? Respondents in this film describe how maintaining oblivion is even more taxing than maintaining a memory.

Very few decisions can be made in the space of uncertainty, but countries like Finland have a protocol for operating in this darkness. The logic speak of the general logic under catastrophies, like fires in buildings: retardant. The project provides a series of strategies that would delay human discovery and intervention in the future. That darkness, though, cannot be simply maintained materially (which can easily be made to be self sustaining); it must also be buttressed by an intentional obfuscation of information. Darkness in this way takes more enery than light.

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Power and Alliances As surveillance technology becomes smaller and cheaper, large corporations are gaining more control over space. Presence in space has long been equivalent with power on Earth because it increases control over political, economic, and military landscapes. In the YB LE DN system, the Nation-State and its boundaries will no longer be prevalent, it is the PMC (private military company) in control of advanced technologies that will have power.

satellite constellation: When 2 or more organizations partner across borders in order to allow for constant monitoring of a certain region as their satellites orbit the earth.

Turkey New satellite technologies could be “especially meaningful for a country like Turkey which has a large area for natural resources monitoring and development, as well as a sensitive geopolitical position which makes it important to observe the region for security and defense.” – from the article The Place of Small Satellites In Fulfilling The Earth Observation Requirements of a Developing Country

DARPA’s Transparent Earth initiative The Pentagon is investing $4 million into the creation of real-time, 3-D maps that display “the physical, chemical and dynamic properties of the earth down to 5 kilometer depth.” Detecting sub-surface activities would allow for early responses to dramatic natural disasters, but also targeting enemies in UGF’s (underground facilities). Depending on who gets their hands on the technology, this greater transparency could also amount to stealing natural resources . Check it out on WIRED.

Image from Danger Room

Total transparency will be the result of all these systems (synthetic aperture radar, optical, video, acoustic sensors, moving target indicators) forming a network (or constellation) to provide real-time information on military operations, hidden agencies, geographic substrates, climate, etc.

DARPA wants to use these technologies in addition to crowdsourcing to enhance the knowledge of the system. But, they also feel crowdsourcing would provide validation – drawing on as many sources as possible provides “validation in environments that may be partially compromised by adversaries.”

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via WIRED

U.S. Defense Threat Reduction Agency is creating a tool to bore through the earth to reach underground facilities. The Massive Ordinance Penetrator (MOP) can bore through up to 60 feet of concrete (depending on the type).  But it is rumored that Iran is developing an ultra-hard concrete, challenging the Pentagon to develope a stronger tool.