Atomic Overlook

Clay Lipsky's comic yet unsettling photo series Atomic Overlook places nuclear bomb testing in the present, in a world where tourists flock to witness the mushroom clouds.
Imagine if the advent of the atomic era occurred during today’s information age. Tourists would gather to view bomb tests, at the "safe" distances used in the 1950s, and share the resulting cell phone photos online. Broadcast media would regurgitate such visual fodder ad nauseam, bringing new levels of desensitization. The threat of atomic weapons is as great as ever, bit it is a hidden specter.

See the series at Lipsky's website. Link -via Flavorwire

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The artist has no sense of history. The 1950s were also the "information age" in this respect, but more importantly, that era is called the "Atomic Age" for a reason.

Quoting one web site, after the tests started at the Nevada Test Site: "Almost overnight, Las Vegas ushered in the age of atomic tourism. Fueled by a series of press releases from the Chamber of Commerce, visitors from around the country descended on the city in droves to witness the mushroom clouds first hand. On April 22, 1952, 200 members of the media were invited to broadcast from Yucca Lake, just ten miles from the epicenter of a major blast. As the bomb exploded on televisions from coast to coast, the country was caught up in atomic fever."

Quoting another site: In the summer of 1957, an article in the New York Times explained how to plan one's summer vacation around the "non-ancient but none the less honorable pastime of atom-bomb watching." Reporter Gladwin Hill wrote that "for the first time, the Atomic Energy Commission's Nevada test program will extend through the summer tourist season, into November. It will be the most extensive test series ever held, with upward of fifteen detonations. And for the first time, the A.E.C. has released a partial schedule, so that tourists interested in seeing a nuclear explosion can adjust itineraries accordingly."

Sure, it was shared on slides and postcards instead of Twitter, and broadcast on network TV instead of sent through Facebook, but it's hard to imagine how there would be "new levels of desensitization." People expected nuclear powered cars and airplanes and rockets, and new ports created by detonating nuclear bombs. Quoting Wikipedia: "Nuclear power was seen to be the epitome of progress and modernity."

The fake pictures, as whitcwa succinctly says, pale in comparison to what actually happened.
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