Cement, wood, plexiglass, microfluidic system,
syringe pumps, radioactive fluid, Geiger counter


Scientific Advisor Patrick Tabeling and Fabrice Monti, MMS laboratory, ESPCI. As part of the Reflective Interaction/EnsadLab program (Research laboratory of the National School of Decorative Arts).
Research program "Vocality in theater and opera" of the Iris "Création, Cognition et Société" (EHESS) supported by PSL, for the four performances of Kein Licht at the Favart hall in Paris, from October 19 to 22, 2017.

Traffic 3.0 is a radioactive art installation

The public can test the level of radioactivity at different points in the installation using a Geiger counter at their disposal, and feel the tension rise when the number of counts per minute detected by the counter accelerates.

This radioactive installation stages the circulation of drops of fluids in microscopic labyrinthine circuits that are the thickness of a hair. Their image is projected live using an optical system, without going through digital. Every little drop that passes through the system is radioactive, but so small in size that the radiation is minute. But the projection system, made of concrete, makes us think of nuclear power stations crossed by highly radioactive fluids, particularly dangerous at these size scales. High radiation levels can then be responsible for cancer. Diseases that are often treated... by radiotherapy, by circulating radioactive materials in our blood capillaries, as fine as our hair.


The public will be able to test the level of radioactivity at different points in the installation using a Geiger counter at their disposal, and feel the tension rise when the number of counts per minute detected by the counter accelerates.


The uralin, or uranium glass, used here as a receptacle for the fluids released by Trafic, is an easily found and harmless radioactive source, with a fluorescent green appearance.

Radiopharmaceutical products called tracers incorporate in their formula an element whose nucleus is radioactive. The radiation of the tracer makes it possible to follow its path within the body, without disturbing the physical, chemical or biological behaviors. The tracer is chosen according to its ability to follow a metabolism or to help diagnose the functioning of an organ. These are elements that mainly emit gamma rays, radiation that radiates little and is penetrating enough to leave the body to be detected.

The accident scenario for the Fukushima power plant is that of a first loss of power supplies following the earthquake, followed in a second step by a loss of the heat sink and the internal emergency power supplies at the aftermath of the tsunami. Without the possibility of cooling, the reactor cores and the spent fuel assemblies stored in the pools undergo a significant increase in temperature until they exceed critical values. The depressurizations then undertaken to limit the pressure in the installation led to the first releases of radioactive products into the environment. Fires followed by explosions will release massive quantities of gaseous radioactive effluents which will be followed by large masses of liquid radioactive effluents following the water releases undertaken by the operator in an attempt to cool the installation.

Ahead of the performances of Kein Licht.

“The “pre-shows” which precede the moment of music constitute a particular space-time where the public is just as inhabited by desire and expectation as by questions to be asked. So much so that we often nourish this time apart from an excess of material to think about the work in its historical, musical, philosophical context. »
Karine LeBail


" Kein Licht based on a text by Elfriede Jelinek, creates a dialogue between characters lost in space and time, following the Fukushima disaster. Trying to reconstitute themselves, these characters share and talk about pain, loss and tragedy, sometimes with a lot of humor. Not quite an opera, nor a singspiel (German comic opera), Kein Licht is a "thinkspiel", that is to say a game with thought. This musical show aims to make us reflect on the huge issues of our news. »

“Extreme climatic event, nuclear accident, contemporary techno-dependence, rise of populism, etc., the themes addressed by Kein Licht are at first glance explosive or at the very least dramatic, in the sense of drâma borrowed from the ancient Greek δρᾶμα designating theatrical action; on the stage, then, the drama of a technology pushed to the extreme and whose chain reactions seem to escape all human control until it develops a form of autonomy. Beyond Philippe Manoury's long-standing questions about interpretative randomness and real time, the music of Kein Licht thus questions this time the indeterminate, with a music that has itself become a stochastic process, of a type that probabilists call “Markov chain” and whose random transitions mirror atomic and particle shocks in a reactor.
Karine LeBail