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The work Decay Cyphers is part of the collaborative speculative Atomic Kinship project, in collaboration with artist and researcher Katri Naukkarinen.

Decay Cyphers focuses on research around materials affected by the Chernobyl fallout in Finland. Gathered material, such as different cuts from game, as well as nordic pike and certain fungi that are known to accumulate fallout materials, are being cremated by the artists, and the resulting ashes are measured for their radioactivity. The work presents an algorithm caught in the attempt to decode messages from the ashes: an attempt that could result as successful.


Decay Cyphers plays with the space of potentiality in between ‘failure’ and ‘miracle’ in considering the expectations about finding or not finding a message, the idea of serendipitous discoveries, and all the wishes and hopes that society directs towards technologies.

The algorithm was designed by Markus Löchtefeld.

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