Nic Lyons

Nic Lyons
Nic Lyons
Report Content

Image Information


In the project Decommission, I explore the borderlands between civilisation and wasteland, and areas of gentrification. The images in this set are based at a decommissioned naval base that has been rendered a toxic wasteland; a relic from an era of reckless nuclear experimentation. I have photographed and researched this former federal Superfund site, which is slated for development. It will be a mixed-use area, with plans to build housing, cultural and educational spaces, and industry. Partially owned by the government, and partially by a development company, it is also home to an artist colony. The adjacent area is four times more toxic than any other place in California, home to two power plants, municipal dump, wastewater treatment facility, federal and state Superfund sites, hazardous waste storage facilities, and 280 toxic hot-spots. Additionally, the residential area nearby is comprised of high-density, low-income housing plagued by crime, prostitution, gang activity, and a disproportionately high murder rate. Breast and cervical cancer rates were found to be double the average, there is a high incidence of asthma and bronchitis, especially among children, and an alarming number of birth defects in recent years. Information on the dangers of the area is widely available, and yet plans to redevelop this area are going ahead. This project is ongoing, and will continue until all phases of development are complete. The images enclosed represent a small selection from what I have gathered on my visits to the location. I have many images, most of which I am still in the process of researching and titling. At any time, however, I can compile a number of them that tell the story of the place, even though it is unfolding, and will continue to do so for generations to come.

September 23, 2010