THE PROJECT

What happens to a typeface when it is exposed to radiation?

In order to understand why one would expose a typeface to radiation, it is vital to understand the effects and fallout of Chernobyl. When the Chernobyl nuclear reactor exploded in 1986, experts predicted as many as 40,000 extra cancer deaths from the radiation spewed onto parts of what was then the Soviet Union. Like the atomic decay that creates radiation, which is impossible to predict for any individual atom, the health effects radiation causes are random, too. A given person who lived in the fallout zone might or might not possess a cesium-137 atom that is quietly mimicking potassium in some innocent cell.

THE PROCESS

This mutated typeface was created using bleach, ink, the Ukrainian word for Firefly and photo manipulation. The images were then scanned in and manipulated according to the reaction of radiation. It is very experimental – as radiation is. The effects and designs are not controlled or contained, to mimic the effects of radiation. The very DNA of the typeface was altered and its cells destroyed. The typeface is embedded deep in the page, emphasizing radiation buried deep in the skin. 
Firefly. The derogative name children call evacuees as if they might glow from radiation.
Tiny paths of destruction. 
As a beam of high-energy alpha particles penetrates a living cell, it disrupts the atoms and molecules in its path. When it penetrates living tissue, it wreaks havoc on the atoms and molecules in its path, setting off a chain of events that can destroy living cells or make them function abnormally.
A DNA molecule can also be broken apart or altered by alpha particles or ions. Damaged strands of DNA can cause chromosomes to break apart, then recombine in an abnormal fashion. 
Unless the body’s repair system can isolate and overcome the damage, the cell may die, often within hours. 
DNA molecules altered by radiation, but not destroyed, may reproduce abnormally for years, spawning cancerous cells and, eventually, tumors. 
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