The History of Atomic Warfare in a Sprawling Installation

Pioneer Works is presenting the hourlong documentary the bomb in an installation inspired by the design of nuclear weapon command and control centers. The film, directed by Kevin Ford, Smriti Keshari, and Eric Schlosser, sketches out the full history of atomic weaponry and international brinksmanship, from the first atom bomb tests in the Nevada desert in the 1940s through the Cold War into the modern day.

Schlosser previously authored Command and Control, a book about the same subject matter which paid special attention to several near-disasters caused by nuclear weapons in the US, primarily the horrifying 1980 Damascus incident. In 2016, that book was turned into a documentary film which Schlosser co-wrote. Across these works, he continually underlines how the danger inherent to nuclear weapons drastically overshadows any of their supposed defense advantages. With the bomb, he and his collaborators further emphasize how these devices destabilize systems even as they provide an illusion of dominance and control.

As a public health precaution, visits to Pioneer Works can be arranged by appointment only. The suggested donation to purchase a ticket is $10.

When: March 19–May 23
Where: Pioneer Works (159 Pioneer Street, Red Hook, Brooklyn)

More information at Pioneer Works

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Dan Schindel is Associate Editor for Documentary at Hyperallergic. He lives and works in New York.


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