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PETER D’AGOSTINO: A-BOMBS/CLIMATE WALKS – TRANSMISSION GALLERY
October 2 - November 21
Now in 2020, during the 75th anniversary of the birth of the Atomic Age, a startling confluence of events: the COVID-19 pandemic, Black Lives Matter protests for racial justice, and raging wildfires, resulting from global warming, are all justifiably at the forefront of our consciousness. However, even before the world was engulfed by these tragic events, the Board of the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists moved its Doomsday Clock forward to 100 seconds before midnight, signifying that we are living in history’s most dangerous era, as “Humanity continues to face two simultaneous existential dangers – nuclear war and climate change .” Evidence from ice cores in Antarctica has precipitated a charting of the “Great Acceleration” of human induced climatic changes over more than two centuries, from the start of the industrial revolution, 1750, to the present. This has led to the formulation of a new epoch in the Geological Time Scale, the Anthropocene.
The dramatic continuum of this epoch is described by the emergence of long enduring markers of radioactive isotopes from nuclear fallout. This evidence initially appeared in July 1945 with the first A-bomb test in the New Mexico desert, and weeks later with the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in Japan. Nuclear proliferation rapidly accelerated at the peak period of atomic and hydrogen bomb tests which occurred during the Cold War Arms Race between the United States and Soviet Union, 1955 – 63. Traces of carbon-14 emerging primarily from that fallout, resides in the Earth’s atmosphere, permeating all forms of plant and animal life, and, as a result, is still detected in all human DNA even today.
These interrelated themes connect the works in the exhibition Peter d’Agostino: A-bombs / Climate walks, on view at the Transmission Gallery, October 1- November 21, 2020. See the exhibition during current open hours, Fridays & Saturdays, 12 – 5pm (health orders permitting) or by appointment.