In 1942 the American government acquired 60,000 acres of farmland in Tennessee’s Clinch River Valley. The plan was to build a secret city to manufacture uranium for the first nuclear bomb — Little Boy. The city would be built in secrecy as part of The Manhattan Project, which also included sites in Los Alamos, New Mexico and Hanford, Washington State. After expropriating land from the farmers who lived and worked in the area, the US Army Corps of Engineers started building houses, roads and infrastructure for the 75,000 residents and workers who would soon arrive. The city was named Oak Ridge. For the next seven years, Oak Ridge remained a well-kept secret and did not appear on any maps — only workers who lived in the city had access through the gates that guarded Oak Ridge, and all work within the city was kept highly confidential. The Manhattan Project was so confidential that most residents in Oak Ridge did not know what they were working on, only that it was part of the war effort. They all found out, however, on 6 August 1945 when Little Boy was dropped over Hiroshima, killing approximately 140,000 Japanese civilians. Oak Ridge was opened to the public in 1949 and to this day still produces nuclear weapons.
Finding Nick Marshall
In 1960 John Steinbeck wrote a book called ’Travels with Charley’. The book depicts a roadtrip made by Steinbeck throughout the US starting from Long Island, New York through Maine all the way to to the pacific Northwest. Going through California he travelled back to New York through the deep south. The objective for Steinbeck, among others, was to re-explore the personality and the landscape of his own country and meet the people first hand. The series ‘Finding Nick Marshall’ is inspired by that journey, and the trip Steinbeck made in 1960. The series explores the rural and urban US landscape trying to suggest a story rooted in both fascination and history.
Since the beginning of times it has been a basic instinct within man to be self-reliant and independent. The idea of being able to establish and maintain your living terms and conditions no matter what happens around you. For some people this means to stockpile food and water, prepare for self-sufficiency, and build structures that will help you survive anything. The series ‘TEOTWAWKI’ depicts the survivalist/prepper culture in the american midwest. People who are actively preparing for emergencies as well as possible disruptions in social or political order, on scales ranging from local to international. Insufficient help from government institutions such as when hurricane Katrina made its second landfall in southeast Louisiana in 2005 and other, serves as examples as why everyone need to help themselves when disaster strikes.
COMISSIONED + ARCHIVE