Isao Hashimoto

1945–1998, 2003
14:24 mins

The atomic bombs that the United States dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki at the end of World War II were only the beginning of a much longer “Cold War” among superpowers that enveloped the globe for decades to come. Despite the utter destructiveness and inhumanity of nuclear weapons, nations the world over continue to pursue and develop them. By simply recording the dates, locations, and countries involved in 2,053 nuclear weapon detonations over 53 years, Hashimoto’s time-lapse world map translates the seemingly unimaginable into the unsparingly factual. The sounds and graphics of 1945–1998 hauntingly evoke a video game, one in which nations seem to “play” with the fate of planetary life for the sake of politics.

Courtesy of the artist.