THE NUCLEAR FAMILY IN THE ATOMIC AGE - EXTENDED
The human-like Golem (on left) is replaced by the Robotic Golem (on right)
Oh, Robotic Golem, you must arise to do our bidding.
You must arise to be our strength.
You must protect us from atomic abominations.
We have manipulated the "magic" of technology into your being.
We have no intention to desecrate the principles of technology.
The button, EMET, meaning Truth is located on your forehead.
Those who have created you have declared that they are pure of heart,
free of base ambition, and free of sinful thought.
THE NUCLEAR FAMILY IN THE ATOMIC AGE
The Nuclear Family in the Atomic Age updates my 1977 artwork, “Horizontal Cobalt,” created in collaboration with the Nuclear Science Division of the Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory. In it I interpreted the Laboratory’s experimental output by drawing directly on the computer printouts that described the transmutation of chemical elements when they are bombarded with nuclear substances. Nearby at the associated Livermore Laboratory, the employees and their immediate families were celebrating the once a year Family Day, where visitors walked amidst the H-Bomb mock-ups.
In the artwork I juxtapose photographs of my immediate family with nuclear definitions. I integrate each family member’s portrait into a related artwork by Roy Lichtenstein. I then assign a word selected from the official nuclear glossary to the digitally collaged image. This ironic juxtaposition has a disturbing effect, purposefully conveying a critical attitude toward nuclear projects.
Lichtenstein also created ironic work. His adherence to traditional structure along with his use of images selected from narratives of corporately endorsed domestic, romantic and consumer activities illuminates the irony available in my work.
The nuclear era coincides with the era represented in Lichtenstein’s work, making for a natural historical overlay. But just as Lichtenstein denaturalized scenes that were meant to represent an everyday life, my work denaturalizes what the corporate and scientific worlds worked to naturalize in nuclear power and nuclear weapons.
The photographs of members of my own family incorporated into Lichtenstein artwork exist in a space of detachment and ironic distance, wherein the viewer is able to contemplate the harrowing juxtaposition of family and nuclear bombs.