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The Simnuke Art Exhibit Indicts Sixty Years of the Atomic Age

Gallery Exhibit - July 28 - August 25, 2005
Rx Gallery, 132 Eddy Street @ Mason, San Francisco

Opening Night Reception - July 28, 7pm-midnight, $10 suggested donation
Special Screening of "Helen's War" - August 3, 8 pm
March to Livermore Labs - August 6

Sasha Harris-Cronin | | 415.516.2049
Max Carlson | | 415.235.5629

San Francisco, a city known for activism and creativity, will host the emotional and politically charged Simnuke Art Exhibit on July 28th, 7pm to midnight, at Rx Gallery, 132 Eddy Street. Over the last sixty years, people all over the world have struggled with the looming threat of nuclear arms. For the artists exhibiting in the Simnuke Art Exhibit, this struggle expresses itself through artwork that is both stunning and a searing indictment of the nuclear arms race.

The Simnuke Project commemorates and confronts the splitting of the atom using art that ranges the emotional gamut from fear to anger, satire, and above all, a simple wish for peace.

The art of the Simnuke Art Exhibit is as diverse as San Francisco itself. The show, co-curated by Sasha Harris-Cronin and Max Carlson, comprises 20 artists from the United States and Japan: 5 of them invited and 15 of them selected from submitted artworks. The exhibit pieces will range from photography to kinetic sculpture, from humorous statements to deadly serious exposes. In addition, there will be an exhibit of government documents from the Prelinger Library tracing the history of the atomic era in public policy.

As global nuclear proliferation blooms into reality, and the United States moves ahead with so-called tactical "bunker busters" and nuclear arms in space, it is critical that this powerful collection reach an audience. Co-curator Sasha Harris-Cronin stated, "If we can make one person leave the gallery, go home, and write their congressperson, then we have made a difference."

Screening of "
Helen’s War, Portrait of a Dissident" with “Last Laugh” by Louis 
Borgenicht, MD
- August 3, 8 pm

By special permission, the Simnuke Art Exhibit is doing a one-time screening of “Helen’s War: Portrait of a Dissident,” a film about Helen Caldicott by her niece, Anna.  We are lucky enough to combine it with “Last Laugh,” a talk on Nuclear Humor by pediatrician, anti-nuclear activist, and PSR Board Member Louis Borgenicht.

With exclusive access, Caldicott's filmmaker niece, Anna Broinowski, followed her pugnacious aunt during a year-long road trip through the United States to promote her latest book, The New Nuclear Danger-George W. Bush's Military Industrial Complex. (read excerpt) Playing a reluctant cynic to her idealistic aunt, Broinowski challenges Caldicott as she battles spin-savvy neo-conservative rivals and attempts to raise money for her left-wing think-tank. But can Caldicott win back the media, and inspire the huge groundswell of protest she did in the 1980s? Helen's War asks whether pacifist dissenters have a place in today's world.

Last Laugh is a multimedia presentation which includes posters, bumper stickers, parodies, official government propaganda (e.g. a three minute film), music and other representations of our nuclear culture. They are culled from the collection of Louis Borgenicht, MD a nuclear pack rat for years.  The Last Laugh explores the utility of humor in dealing with the incomprehensible and concludes with a quote from write Robert Stone: “Laughter is primarily a moral response. It is a rejection of evil, a renunciation of chaos and an affirmation of balance and soundness.” Dr. Borgenicht is a pediatrician from SLC, Utah and has been a member of Physicians for Social Responsibility for twenty-five years. He is currently on the Board of Directors.

Artist Bios

Michael Light
Bikini Atoll

Michael Light is a San Francisco-based photographer and bookmaker broadly focused on the environment and how contemporary American culture relates to it.  His work is concerned both with the complex politics of that relationship and the seductions of landscape representation, particularly as found in the arid, open spaces of America.  He has exhibited nationally and internationally, and his work has been collected by the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, The Getty Research Library, The Los Angeles County Museum of Art, The New York Public Library, and the Victoria & Albert Museum in London, among others.

One strain of Light’s practice has been to rework familiar historical photographic and cultural icons into landscape-driven perspectives, often with an aerial component, by sifting through vast but overlooked public photographic archives.  His first such book and exhibition, FULL MOON (1999), used lunar geological survey imagery made by Apollo astronauts to show the moon both as a classically sublime desert and an embattled point of first human contact.  His latest archival project, 100 SUNS (2003), focuses on the politics and landscape meanings of U.S. atmospheric nuclear detonations in Nevada and the Pacific from 1945 to 1962.

Another aspect of Light’s practice involves aerially photographing over settled and unsettled areas of Western American space, pursuing themes of mapping, vertigo, human impact on the land, and various aspects of the sublime.  He is beginning a decade-long aerial photographic survey of the West at this time, tentatively titled Dry Garden: America Beyond the 100th Meridian.

Light is represented by Hosfelt Gallery, San Francisco and Frehrking + Wiesehofer Gallery, Cologne.

Bryan Cole and Jeff Young
Human Error

Bryan is a resident of Athens, Georgia and is currently producing and editing independent documentary films.  Recent exhibitions to include his work are Embedded: Living With Technology at the Athens Institute for Contemporary Art, as well as the River Run International Film Festival in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, the Jacksonville International Film Festival and the Atlanta International Film Festival.  Bryan has also recently performed in Laleh Mehran’s Xerces Society VI: Sir Cropia’s Public Laboratory.

Jeff is a resident of Atlanta, Georgia and is a recent graduate of the Lamar Dodd School of Art.  Currently Jeff is studying at the Kitchen’s Summer Institute in New York.  Recent work includes performing in Laleh Mehran’s installation Xerces Society VI: Sir Cropia’s Public Laboratory at the Georgia Museum of Art.  He has also recently shown work in the Athens Institute for Contemporary Art exhibits Embedded: Living With Technology and Product: Comments on Consumer Culture with The Yes Men.

Robert Dohrmann
DOOMTown The Movie | The Great Atomic Power

In the summer of 2000, I secured a research grant from the University of Oklahoma for travel to several nuclear sites in the Western United States, which allowed me to research and embark on a new body of work concerning the iconography of the Atomic/Nuclear Age. The foci of this project include graphic, popular and indigenous icons arising from the social-historical period of American history encompassing the years from roughly 1945 to the present. In these works I combine scholarly and artistic processes which have allowed expansion and deepening explorations of my ongoing interests and research in American/Western-inspired iconography. The nuclear art pulses with the metaphorical and discursive reverberations of four conditions; 1) the historical and current issues surrounding weapons of mass destruction, 2) the ongoing effects of nuclear production and storage, 3) the aftermath of the Cold War, and finally, 4) the terrorist threats following September 11th.

Well into the research of this project I began making large-scale banners. The works displayed draw their inspiration from the concept of propaganda in itself, but mainly appropriate graphics from World War II, Soviet and Chinese Communism and Cold War Civil Defense. Upon further investigation, I saw a strong relationship between this era of visual communication and current issues surrounding terrorist threats, most notably the current five color code warnings from the Homeland Security Commission. Furthermore, as politics and society evolve, relevant subjects and images will be added to this body of work.

Joy Garnett
Dominic Sunset

Joy Garnett studied painting at the École Nationale Supérieur des Beaux-Arts in Paris, and received her MFA from The City College of New York. Garnett's subject is conflict, whether social, environmental, geo-political or technological. Her drawings and paintings are based on photographs she appropriates from different sources, including declassified government archives and news wires. Other projects include video installations and websites that recontextualize her source material, such as the online resource “The Bomb Project” (2000-present) Her work has been exhibited at Debs & Co., Lombard-Freid Fine Arts, Foxy Production, Clementine Gallery, White Columns, Exit Art, and GAS (NYC); Schroeder Romero (Brooklyn); National Academy of Sciences (Washington, DC); Kettle's Yard (Cambridge, UK); Aeroplastics Contemporary (Brussels), de Witte Zaal (Ghent), and De Bond (Bruges).  Her awards include project grants from the Wellcome Trust (UK) and the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council; she recently received an award from the Anonymous Was a Woman foundation.

Aryana Farsai Roxborough
Thermotactic Earth

Aryana Farsai Roxborough, born in 1975 in Los Angeles, California to the Iranian painter Fredoon Farsai, and Gretchen Quandt. I have had a wonderfully diverse and semi-nomadic upbringing, traveling from the United States to Iran, Canada, and then back to the San Francisco Bay Area in California. I  have attained a BA in Ecological Building Design, and I am actively pursuing sculpture, ceramics, ecology, and organic gardening. 

My work has been featured in group shows, and has also been part of sets used both in film and photography. In 2004, I taught a series of private classes in welding on steel for sculpture and structural purposes.

As an individual I strive, through my artwork, to attain a level of magical realism, that is palpable in everyday life. I seek to use the power of juxtaposition,  conveying the world not as it should be, but as it could be. Ultimately, I believe the uniqueness of my vision captures life in perspectives which are unique and charming, and can add to other's experience of life. Throughout my work, I use the spiritual significance of fire, and the regenerative power of the phoenix.  I seek to draw illuminative parallels between the fire of transformation and cycles of life through birth and death throughout time.  During this process I seek to connect to an inner focus, a clear insight, which is a level of self-knowing, that can be applicable to life in the outer world. My goal as an artist is to have the profound effect on those who view my work, and that that they will be affected on a deeply subconscious and powerful level; becoming more able to pick up perceptions of the magical world around them, in ways that they were unobservant to before.

Corinne Schulze
The Penetrator 1 |
The Penetrator 2 | The Penetrator 3
Cyanotype on Canvas

Born in the countryside of Ohio and raised in Kentucky, Corinne now lives in San Francisco. All the time in between is what made Corinne into the artist she is now. She attended Tulane University and earned a BA in Studio Art and Philosophy. At Tulane, Corinne developed a keen interest in different photographic processes. She has since strived to use these processes not only to create images but to link the processes to the content of the images.  

Corinne’s current project focuses on the depleted uranium missiles presently being used by the U.S. military.  In these pieces, she utilizes various images to compare the bombs the U.S. has used in the past to the U.S.’s current use of nuclear weapons, specifically depleted uranium missiles. She wants to convey the idea that the U.S. has not learned from its mistakes in the past, such as Hiroshima. Corinne wants to communicate to the viewer that, at this precise moment, the actions of the U.S. are affecting the future generations of Afghans and Iraqis by using a chemical that has a half-life of 4.5 billion years and poisons their ground water and air. The aftermath of these bombs affect more than just the “evil-doers” the U.S. is fighting. They affect innocent civilians, including children, their children’s children and so on.

Elin O'Hara Slavick

Kiritimati | Mississippi | Bikini Atoll | Vieques

Elin o’Hara slavick is a Professor of Art at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where she teaches Conceptual Photography, Collaborative Visual Projects, Drawing, Mixed Media and Body Imaging. Slavick received her MFA in Photography from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and her BA in poetry, photography and art history from Sarah Lawrence College. Having grown up with a radical Catholic activist father who gave her a camera when she was eight years old and a German mother who encouraged her to draw, slavick traveled extensively throughout Europe and the United States many times as a child - visiting churches, museums, typical tourist destinations, alternative historical sites, and family. Perhaps these trips began her visual explorations and manifestations of the complicated and critical relationship between the individual and the world, between the local and the global, the personal and political. Slavick has exhibited her work in Hong Kong, Canada, France, Italy, Scotland, England, Cuba, the Netherlands and across the United States. A determined feminist, educator and activist, slavick hopes to see the transformation of global capitalism into some more equitable and democratic form before she dies.

Jenne Giles
Hiroshima, Mon Amour
Oil on Canvas

Jenne Giles is a Conceptual Artist, whose work finds many forms, ranging from large-scale, interactive sculpture, to orginal costuming, performance and painting. She attended the High School of Performing and Visual Arts in Houston and received her Bachelor's Degree in Art & Art History from Rice University. She currently hangs her hat in San Francisco, where she continues to produce a wide range of
thought-provoking work at a steady clip.

Mark Henson
March of Progress
Oil on Canvas

Mark is a native son of California, born in 1952. He began his life of making art while attending high school in Sacramento, working on painting and Theatre set design. He earned a California State a scholarship to The University of CAlifornia at Davis where he received a degree in Fine Art in 1973.

Mark has always been able to touch the essence of creativity, bringing forth ideas and visions a way uniquely his own. He has traveled the world, spending time in the Far East and Costa Rica where he maintains a rainforest retreat.

Yumiko Oda
Floating on Water | Vibration Together
ink on cloth

1954 Born in Hiroshima, Japan

Present Living in Hiroshima
1985 Started to produce works by dyeing

Paints are permeated and dyed cloth. I make my works by seeking the possibility and meaning that is can express an dhaving a dialog of my own soul and sound. I have displayed my works in Hiroshima Prefecture Art Exhibition, amd have displayed in and received an award from Koufukai museum. I have been in group exhibitions in Hiroshima, Kyoto, Tokyo, and so on.

In April, 2004. I held the Charity Group Exhibition that offers medical support to the children of Iraq in gallery in Hiroshima.

In March, 2005, I held an exhibition at SomArts Cultural Center in San Francisco.

I have been director of "GG Art Space" where I teach painting to childrem in the atelier of my house since 1985. Every year, we hold a "GG Art Space" exhibition. In addition, I have been an instructor of art at a professional school of welfare since 1997 and at a public junior high school since 2004.

Megan Shaw Prelinger
Documenting the Atomic Era: Promise and Response
original documents

Megan Shaw Prelinger is a writer and artist whose works interpret American political and geographic history. She works primarily in text, both as an independent scholar and as the co-creator of the Prelinger Library, a public access print resource project in San Francisco. She is co-editor of Collective Action: A Bad Subjects Anthology (Pluto Press, 2004). As an occasional artist, her projects have included designing the Landscape Coin in 2000, a multiple work in brass; creating a two-channel multimedia installation at Artists Television Access in 2003 titled Homeland Security;and directing the short movie Releases, which premiered at the Meta Museum in 2002. She is also an oil spill responder and wildlife rehabilitator with International Bird Rescue Research Center.

Megan is a child of the Cold War who began reading apocalyptic fiction and thinking about creative responses to the atomic threat at an early age. She has pursued a lifelong interest in landscapes shaped by atomic conflict through many journeys of exploration and projects of interpretation. To further her own work and the work of other artists and independent scholars on the nuclear threat, she collects books and documents widely on the subject. The current exhibit represents selections from the Prelinger Library.

Richard Ross
lawrence livermore california | Beijing 11 | England, ADS | Conroe, TX | Family Shelter, Zurich

Richard Ross is originally from New York. He received his BA from University of Vermont and MFA from University of Florida. He has been teaching at UCSB since 1977. Ross has an extensive exhibition record, with exhibitions over the United States and Europe. He has photographed for the New York Times Magazine, Los Angeles Times Magazine, Discover, Vogue, San Francisco Examiner, Frankfurter Allgemaine, etc.

Ross is the principal photographer for the J Paul Getty Museum on their Villa restoration project, and is the principal photographer for the Getty Conservation Institute documenting the research work of the GCI in El Salvador, Honduras, Tunisia, China etc.

Ross has a tattoo on his right bicep.

Aaron Ximm
Desert Sun (2005)
Sound installation: field recording and mixed media.

Aaron Ximm is a San Francisco based field recordist and sound artist.  Since 1998 his Quiet American project has focused on constructing  truthful but nonliteral sound portraits with the intimate recordings he  collects while traveling.

Ximm hopes to cultivate attention on the incidental, serendipitous,  and fragile soundscapes that surround us but go unremarked.

Ximm's recordings and composition have appeared in a variety of  contexts, including online, as installations and sound sculpture, in  performance, on the radio, and via podcast.

From 2001 until earlier this year Ximm curated and hosted the award-winning Field Effects concert series, which presented quiet and subtle sound art in a maximally comfortable environment.

The majority of Ximm's recordings and compositions are available at .

Yosuke Yamahata
Nagasaki Journey

YOSUKE YAMAHATA was born on August 6, 1917. He received his first camera, a 35mm Leica, in 1935 from his father who had founded a photography studio. In 1941 Yamahata became attached to the Japanese navy as a photographer. 

On August 9, 1945 Yamahata was ordered to take photographs of the bombing of Nagasaki. On August 10 with the camera given to him by his father, he completed the assignment. Rather than submit his photographs to the Japanese military, Yamahata returned with them to his family home in Tokyo.

Mr. Yamahata died in 1966 from cancer. His final photographs were taken of a storm approaching the shoreline of northern Japan. They remained unprinted in his lifetime.

Yosuke Yamahata: "Human memory has a tendency to slip, and critical judgment to fade with the years and with changes in life-style and circumstance. But the camera, just as it seized the grim realities of August 1945, bring the stark facts before our eyes without the need for the least embellishment."

Garret Izumi
Call of the sirens: Air Raid Sirens of Los Angeles County | Critical Mass
printed book

What began as an exploration in photography, gradually evolved into an investigation of the comics medium and the use of sequential imagery.  Comics in turn led to self-publishing with distinct attention to the book as part of the concept.  Self-publishing since the early 90’s, his work includes photography books, comics and hand letterpress books.  Each book has focused on varying themes from memories and vision to suburban and urban landscapes to life in the nuclear age.  In 2005, he launched his website,, where most of his work can be seen.

Yoshiko McFarland
Peace Butterflies - Small | Peace Butterflies - Medium | Peace Butterflies - Large
Soft Sculpture

Born in Osaka on Pearl Harbor Day; lost her father and house in WW2.

1964: BA (Kyoto City Fine Art College),
1975-87: worked on batik in western Japan after learning Fujiwara Kazuyoshi's way, making murals and screens for Mangan-ji Temple in Matsue and Yushi-en peony & ginseng museum in Daikon Island and many other commissioned works.  Also made several one person batik exhibitions painting the ancient world of Japan; searching the old history and traditional events, writing essays in local papers. Published a storybook, "Kamos" about the culture shock of Japanese Stone Age people when rice culture came in (1987).

1987: immigrated to the U.S. remarrying with an American, and soon the inspiration of a new thinking and global communication method, "Earth Language"(EL) came into her whole body and mind at her minority experience concerning the global future. She has been materializing EL since then.
1997- (1996- for the Japanese version): The EL web site has been established. ( Getting people's interest and help from many fields/countries through the Internet, the foundation of the EL system is about ready to go now.

Kerry Loewen
Driving by Braile

Kerry Loewen left the commercial film industry in 1998 to pursue an MFA in Studio Art at San Francisco State University, he was recently appointed Assistant Professor of Media Art/Art at Eastern Oregon University. His video, installation and photographic works have been exhibited at the San Jose Institute of Contemporary Art, Southern Exposure Gallery, Arts Benicia Gallery, Adobe Book Shop, the Slop Art Catalogue tour and other venues. He received a commission from the San Francisco Art Commission and has a video installation in the di Rosa Preserve collection.

Tracy Jacobs
Kickstart Atom
Kinetic Sculpture

Tracy comes from a traditional sculpture background, mainly modeling and casting and metals.  Her interest in electronics and kinetic sculpture grew out of a love for Science in general, and a desire to work with ideas from theoretical Science in the most appropriate medium.  Tracy has an MFA in sculpture from Indiana University, Bloomington, 1998, and a BFA in sculpture from the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, 1993.  She has taught the full range of Art foundations at various colleges in the Midwest, and worked as a professional mold-maker.  She is currently running a business in Berkeley, California.

Carole Gallagher

Walter Adkins | Bonnie McDaniels and Marjorie Lease | Robert Carter | Martha Laird | Sedan Crater at the North end of Yucca Flat

Carole Gallagher is an award-winning documentary photographer and writer whose work has been exhibited and published widely in the United States and abroad. Her acclaimed book, American Ground Zero: the Secret Nuclear War was profiled as one of the eight best books of the decade by American Photo magazine in its special issue, “Women in Photography: The Modern Masters.” The Los Angeles Times noted American Ground Zero as “a document of immense authority and humane urgency,” while the New York Times urged that it “deserves to be read as a crusading story of the consequences of the nuclear arms industry’s lingering contamination and deception: as an American Chernobyl.” Bill Moyers cautioned, “Ms. Gallagher’s book is the kind of truthful examination that we must constantly make about ourselves.” An exhibition of the photographs and oral histories from her book was organized by the International Center of Photography in New York in 1994, traveling to seven museums nationally. A selection from American Ground Zero was exhibited at the Hiroshima Peace Museum, and donated to their archive. She is currently working on a book about the costs of war, particularly the forgotten disabled and dying veterans of the first Gulf War, and is co-executive producer of a documentary film about the human history of the nuclear age. She lives in New York City and in the higher altitudes of Colorado.

Astrid Olafsen
I Was a Hated Woman | Sex Led Me to Communism

About Rx Gallery

Rx raises awareness of new media art while serving as a conduit for artistic expression and connecting artists and audiences. The Rx Gallery's website is

The Simnuke Project is supported by The Nuclear Age Peace Foundation, The Nuclear Policy Research Institute, and Tree New Mexico. The Simnuke Project is made possible with the fiscal sponsorship of the Cloud Factory Collective for the Arts, a 501(c)3 organization.


We envision the exhibit traveling to other locations in the US and internationally through 2005. Please contact us if you are interested in helping us reach this vision.

Please make a tax-deductible donation to the Simnuke Project through PayPal
The Simnuke Project is made possible with the fiscal sponsorship of the Cloud Factory Collective for the Arts, a 501(c)3 organization.
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