2005 05:29:45 local time
As an act of protest and commemoration, we
will mark the 60-year anniversary of the Trinity test, somewhere
in the desert.
This simulation is much more than a big flame
effect. It is a somber memorial, a wake for the 60 years
since the Trinity detonation. The world was forever changed
in that moment, and we feel the gravity of this as we prepare
for our event. There are an estimated 30,000 nuclear warheads
in the world today, yet many people have completely forgotten
about this threat to the world. Most are barely aware or
complacent about the fact that our government has reembarked
on modeled testing of small "tactical" nuclear
weapons such as the "bunker buster".
There are nearly endless
destructive effects of a nuclear detonation we would not
dream of recreating, nor force on an unwilling audience.
Blinding light and killer shockwave, horribly burning and
maiming innocent people. Fallout carrying for miles. Radiation
sickness, and cancer for generations.
But to capture the gravity
of these effects through art, we are coordinating a series
of performances before and after our detonation to bring
to the surface the deep emotional impact and human toll
of nuclear weapons.
The centerpiece to the Simnuke Project, we
will create an immense column of fire, roiling up to the
sky in a searing mushroom cloud. Using the most environmentally
and safety conscious means, we will burn fuel (not an explosion)
shaped in a way to give the look and feel of a nuclear event.
In witnessing this simulation, the viewer
(in person and in video documentation) will be able to map
their historical and cultural experience to a visceral,
body experience. The flash of light, the heat, the sound
pressure wave will wake the audience from its long dream
of distance from nuclear destruction.
Simnuke is created with what is possibly the
world's largest flame-effect machine, comprised of six large
fans with spray nozzle assemblies in front of the fans.
The fans are arranged in a circle, with each fan pointed
towards the center of the circle.
Using a series of pumps, fuel is driven through
the valves to the nozzles to create droplets, and each fan
creates an airflow that mixes with the fuel. As this mixture
passes over the pilot light, the fuel is ignited and burns,
but does not explode. Each of the six fans creates a plume
of flame about eight feet wide. View
some images of the system in testing.
We will place the fans in such a way that
each plume merges. These join to form one extremely hot
and large mushroom fireball that will rise toward the sky
for hundreds of feet.
As the fire dissipates, the audience will
feel the impact of those events 60 years ago. They will
reflect on the pain and suffering caused through the Atomic
age - to the people of Japan, to US atomic veterans, to
citizens downwind of the Nevada Test Site, to the indigenous
peoples of the Marshall Islands, and to the billions of
humans who faced annihilation during the worst moments of
the Cold War.