On July 16, 1945, the United States, in cooperation with numerous global allies, successfully detonated the first atom bomb. The test was the result of the six-year Manhattan Project, created with the express intention of developing a functional atomic bomb before Adolf Hitler and the Axis Powers developed their own. The success of the bomb kicked off the worldwide atomic arms race, and thrust humanity onto a razor's edge: would the power to annihiliate the planet several times over be a responsibility the human race could manage? The bombings at Hiroshima and Nagasaki mere weeks after the first test detonation demonstrated in no uncertain terms the power of the weapons to eradicate civilization. In the decades since, the world has been brought to the brink of total destruction more than once, notably during the Cuban Missile Crisis of the early 1960s. With an ever-increasing number of countries in possession of nuclear technology, and ever-escalating tensions between them, humanity's responsibility to itself has never been more serious.
In 2010, the BodyCartography Project presented 1/2 Life, a hybrid performance piece. The BodyCartography Project was founded in 1998 and is co-directed by dance and video artists Olive Bieringa and Otto Ramstad. Their work investigates the physical resonance of space in urban, wild, domestic and social landscapes through dance, video and installation work. They engage and provoke audiences in diverse contexts working with independent artists, communities, organizations and scientists. 1/2 Life investigates the survival of the body amidst a world of scientific research, data and control. The performance hovers geographically at the edges of the Pacific Ocean – connecting nuclear super power U.S.A., atomic survivor Japan and nuclear free New Zealand. Bieringa and Ramstad bring together an extraordinary collaborative team including composer and harpist Zeena Parkins, visual artist Emmett Ramstad and physicist Bryce Beverlin II. Beverlin is a multidisciplinary artist residing in Minneapolis where he explores various forms of art including free improvisational music, contact improvisational dance, guerrilla public performance, film and video, poetry, public and private installation, and conceptual composition. Beverlin is also a Ph.D. candidate in the department of Physics at the University of Minnesota.
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