Factory Fifteen's short film "Gamma" reimagines the ruins of the Chernobyl exclusion zone as one of many sites ravaged by radiation in a post-nuclear future. The footage, which the collective shot on location in Chernobyl and Baikonur while accompanying the Architectural Association's Unknown Fields Division last summer, is mixed with several large-scale CGI-elements including floating megastructures and the "Nuke-root" organisms which latch onto the ground and buildings in a massive campaign to purge the land of radioactive matter.
The film centers around a survivor's recollections of the destruction of his city Pripyat which had been marked for salvation. Gamma, a large private enterprise, launched the expedition after years of nuclear war, using their patented Nuke-roots to suck up radioactivity as part of a grand benevolent plan to rehabilitate organic life on earth. Unfortunately, like nearly all private-backed social ventures, Gamma's efforts quickly proved feckless; the organisms soon assume autonomy and lay waste to the cities they had been sent to recover. In Pripyat, the roots spread at a viral rate, consuming the landscape and rendering it "more radioactive, broken and uninhabitable than before," as giant Gamma war machines loom above in surveillance. The film follows team of researchers--AA students in disguise--shown navigating through the rubble, observing the monumental devastation wrought by Gamma's "almighty cock-up."