UK, 1999, 14 minutes
Colour, Sound, Video
Glow Boys is set in a British nuclear power plant in the company of contract workers termed glow boys. Waller gradually unpicks some of its most salient characteristics - the elimination of natural time cycles, the covert disregard for workers' bodies (i.e. lives) and the creeping mutation/mutilation of surrounding 'wildlife' - to talk about money, time, power relationships, and human frailty.
Pauline van Mourik Broekmann, Mute, issue 11.
In Glow Boys, the disaster is brooding, waiting to happen. The film takes place in a nuclear power plant in the company of contract workers who are also known as 'glowboys'. This term was an in-joke at the Three Mile Island reactor during the clean up operation of the late 70's. There was a shortage of contractors to do the job, so the same people would return with new identities. It was prior to data convergence, so new national insurance numbers could be easily presented to reapply for the job. They would pick up more and more radiation as well as more and more pay. They could lead good lives, but short ones. Hence they became known as 'glowboys', or 'sponges'.
Glow Boys is based on extensive research, visits to reactors across Britain, and talks with shift workers, locals and nuclear scientists. The musical score is by contemporary atonal composer Paul Clark and a specially commissioned musical performance by Mark E. Smith of The Fall.
Installation version available/ French-subtitled version available - contact LUX for more information