Live video feed, Trinitite, lead enclosure

Dirty bomb is a live video work of a radioactive sample. Over many decades the radiation will slowly destroy pixels in the imaging sensor, reducing the feed to white noise. In this way the video itself is a durational live performance.

From 2001 onwards there has been a waning threat of a terrorist attack using a ‘dirty bomb’. The media coined this term for an ad-hock explosive device which would use nuclear waste and radioactive materials as its shrapnel, resulting in ever more devastating attacks and clean-ups. Yet the technicalities of such a device and the actual yield of nuclear waste available makes the threat null and void.

This sculpture toys with this dialectic by disguising itself as a pipe bomb or IED. Made entirely from lead, this enclosure protects the viewer from the potentially harmful radiation inside.

At its core the cylinder contains a 4k industrial microscope camera aimed directly at a sample of Trinitite, a glass formed from desert sand during the first ever nuclear tests.

The trinity tests were significant not only in how they shaped the geopolitical climate from that point on. But it was also instrumental in incepting an other-worldly fear and an economy of distrust.