TRINITY TEST SITE, NM
Fear and flight performances
In 2006 I began performing the Duck and Cover responses for nuclear survival at the Trinity Test Site on White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico. Trinity, where the first atomic test was executed, is open to the public twice a year for a handful of hours. Ground Zero is accessible, as is the McDonald Ranch house where the Trinity Test bomb was assembled.
Over the years, I repeatedly ducked and covered and ran for my life at Trinity, enacting what my response might have been, and might still be, if a nuclear bomb were dropped. My intent for performing these steps at Trinity was to critically engage 1950s civil defense drills and nuclear science fiction– bringing these traces alive for reflection upon nuclear history and into conversation with current geopolitics.
I never announced to the visiting public what I was up to. Maybe some never ‘got it’. The performance cycle at Trinity was completed in October 2008, when someone emphatically did get it. Yelling out loud a woman proclaimed: “She’s running away from the giant ants!”, referencing the 1954 movie ‘Them!’