Emblem I, 2020
Archival pigment print on paper
42cm x 59.4cm
“Approximately 1 percent of this document has been blocked out due to the Department of Defense sanitization process used with declassified materials. Portions of this document are not fully legible.”
All the censored blocks from the inside pages of the summary report (sanitised version) of the test series UPSHOT-KNOTHOLE (1953), layered and combined together.
If you’ve ever seen black and white footage of a house suddenly smoking and being obliterated in the blink of an eye, or trees in a forest bend and shatter as an invisible wave rolls in and retreats, UPSHOT-KNOTHOLE is where it happened.
The film footage was used to instill fear in the public whilst at the same time providing supposed evidence that society could continue in the face of atomic annihilation, and that there were practical steps the ordinary person could take to increase their chances of survival.
Of the 11 tests in the 1953 series, most footage comes from the airdropped ENCORE test, slightly larger in yield to the Fat Man bomb dropped over Nagasaki in 1945. Yield in nuclear weapons is generally measured using the equivalent amount kilotons (kt) of TNT. ENCORE was 27kt in yield whereas the most common airdropped device currently in use by the US, the B61, has a yield of between 10-400kt. One kilogram of TNT can destroy a small vehicle.
A rem is a radiation protection unit of measure that quantifies the risk of biological effects resulting from exposure to ionizing radiation. Ionizing radiation is any radiation (gamma, x-ray, beta, neutron, or alpha) capable of displacing electrons from atoms or molecules, thereby producing ions. According to the National Council on Radiation Protection and Measurements, the general U.S. population receives about 0.62 rem per year from natural background radiation sources (radon, cosmic rays, and rocks). A standard diagnostic chest x-ray delivers a radiation dose of about 0.02 rem. Observers viewing the series received doses of up to 28 rem.
Emblem II, 2020
Archival pigment print on paper
29cm x 42cm
Report Nos: DNA-AR-48M-SAN
Title: Nuclear Weapon Characteristics Report. Issue 61 (Sanitized Version).
Date: I Oct 88
Performing Organization: Defense Nuclear Agency. Washington. DC.
Supplemental Notes: Approximately 65 percent of this document has been blocked out due
to the Department of Defense sanitization process used with declassified materials.
Portions of this document are not fully legible. See also PB96-I7D493. .
NTIS Field/Group Codes: 74H (Nuclear Warfare). 74E (Logistics. Military Facilities. &
Price: PC AD5/MF ADI
Availability: Available from the National Technical Information Service. Springfield.
Number of Pages: 72p
Keywords: *Nuclear weapons. *Stockpiles. *Assembly. Nuclear bombs. Nuclear warheads.
ProJectlles. Inventories. Research and development. Weapons effects.
Abstract: This report summarizes pertinent technical information for each nuclear
warhead or bomb and its various apglications. These summaries are Rublished for
information only. Appendix A is a ibliography on nuclear weapon effects.”