Maarten Vanden Eynde

Manhattan Project

2017
Metal, aluminium, white sand, UV light, uranium glass
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210 x 210 x 160 cm.

Manhattan Project is a model of several failed and successful tests to recreate the perfect dome that occurs after 0.025 seconds when detonating an atomic bomb. For the miniature explosions antique Uranium glass, also known as Vaseline glass, was melted and blown to achieve a perfect bubble. Before being used as fuel for nuclear power plants or to produce atomic bombs, uranium was used as colouring agent in the fabrication of tableware and household items. The yellow or light green colour lights up as toxic fluorescent green under UV light. The white sand, coming from White Sands Missile Range where the first atomic bomb exploded, lights up purple, completing the magical and macabre model.

The detonation of the first atomic bomb is the most likely event that will mark the end of the Holocene and the start of the Anthropocene, the age of men. Radioactive isotopes like strontium 90 will be present in the entire geological layer that we are currently creating, functioning as the perfect Golden Spike.