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Breathing Bombs

Using footage collected of atomic bomb explosions, this moving image piece explores the slow violence that is indicative of the Anthropocene. The epoch is said to have started in 1945, the same year the United States tested 'Trinity', the first atomic bomb detonation as part of the Manhattan Project. Slow violence is the fuel that drives the climate crisis forward, it is the language in which the Anthropocene whispers. It goes unnoticed, almost being invisible, but devastatingly affects the 'other' (humans and nonhumans alike). Slow violence is a product of the repression of our natural entanglements, which we attempt to remove with societal boundaries. Rather than seeing biocide and genocide as separated, we should understand them as the same thing. Four recordings of the first milliseconds of the munitions exploding are displayed. Working clockwise, their rise and falls speed up, replicating the tensions of the Doomsday clock as it gets closer to midnight. The work plays with collected sounds, collaged to create an intense, multilayered strangeness. It includes recordings of the artist's breathing and stomach rumblings, giving the organic-appearing explosions an abjectly human quality. Recordings of the ultrasonic clickings of plants, collected online from scientific research, are paired with the clickings of a Geiger counter, alluding to the repeated biocide committed by humans. The indication of long-lasting radiation paired with the rapid atomic explosions highlights issues with scale, with the cellular-appearing bubbles affecting massive swaths of beings across space and time, but mutating our insides on a minuscule level. The GTS (Greenwich Time Signal) pips are used to represent our human-centered conceptualisation of time, with the last pip extended to display that we are already in the end, the clock hit midnight all the way back in 1945.

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