Radiate/Cultivate is a public intervention project initiated by Lisa Bulawsky under the pseudonym of Vertigo Press and implemented with the help of volunteers all over the world. The project capitalizes on the democratic quality of the print/multiple to disseminate its political and environmental message.
In the broadest sense, Radiate-Cultivate is a warning and a comment on humanity’s capacity for destruction, indeed for self destruction. It involves the planting of wood cutouts of screenprinted mushroom clouds that are the shape and size of a small bush or oversized flower. Attached to the wood is a garden stake so that it can be easily pushed into the ground.
On the back of the wooden mushroom cloud, a quote is printed in English and in Utopian (Thomas More, author of Utopia, 1516, invented the Utopian alphabet and included it in the original edition of the book). The quote, from Theodor Adorno reads:
“Yet the fully enlightened earth radiates disaster triumphant.”
The aim of the project is to call attention to the idea that we are ultimately cultivating our own destruction. In an effort to point toward hope, volunteers are encouraged to plant poppy seeds next to their mushroom cloud. The red poppy is a symbol of remembrance as well as rebirth.