< Futurefarmers

Forging a Nail

From Meteorite to Trinite:

(1) Using fire and force, a nail was forged using a meteorite 
found in Arizona’s Barringer crater- one of a kind. The ‘Canyon Diablo 
meteorite’ fell from the sky some 50,000 years ago creating a crater 
1km wide. The equivalent of 150 atomic bombs. 

(2) Through a process of casting 1943 steel pennies a second nail was formed. These pennies also known as “war pennies” were made of zinc-
coated steel, as the copper was needed for ammunition. Melted pennies 
were poured into a graphite mold alluding to notions of mass production 
and the multiple. 

(3) A third nail was born by re-fusing Trinitite, a glassy residue was 
left on the desert floor after the first atomic test at the Trinity 
site in New Mexico.  This slightly radioactive material points to this 
moment when humans eclipsed their mark on the earth.  Everything 
that has grown on the earth’s surface from this point forward is in-scribed with what scientists call the isotopic fingerprint 
a permanent record of this event. 

 

 

(1)
FORGE
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(2)
CAST

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(3)
RE-FUSE
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Forge: c.1300, “to make, shape, create,” from Old French forgier, from Latin fabricari “to frame, construct, build,” from fabrica “workshop”. Meaning “to counterfeit”. Forged; forging. To form (metal, for example) by heating in a forge and beating or hammering into shape.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cast: To throw something forcefully in a specific direction or to cause (light or shadow) to appear on a surface. (1) : to assign the parts of (a dramatic production) to actors (2) to assign (as an actor) to a role or part <was cast in the leading role>
a : to give a shape to (a substance) by pouring in liquid or plastic form into a mold and letting harden without pressure <cast steel> a : to cause to move or send forth by throwing <cast a fishing lure> b : direct <cast a glance>
c (1) : to put forth <the fire casts a warm glow> <cast light on the subject> (2) : to place as if by throwing <cast doubt on their reliability>

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Two men faced each other for a coin flip on . ...1943. The extreme light of the midday sun beat into Leon's eyes- his comrade a mere mix of blacks and greys. These two men had been cast into the role of "weaponeers" in the theater of war. This coin toss of this particular moment was to decide who would fly the plane that dropped the atomic bomb on Hiroshima. "Heads you fly, tails you stay on land". Leon's penny landed tail side up on the dusty ground beneath their feet.

 

Eclipse: the partial or complete interception of the light of one component of a binary star by the other. to make less outstanding or important by comparison; surpass: derived from the ancient Greek noun (ékleipsis), which means “the abandonment”, “the downfall”, or “the darkening of a heavenly body”, which is derived from the verb ἐκλείπω (ekleípō) which means “to abandon”, “to darken”, or “to cease to exist,” a combination of prefix ἐκ- (ek-), from preposition ἐκ (ek), “out,” and of verb λείπω (leípō), “to be absent”.

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(Above: still from The Sun in a Net, directed by Štefan Uher. a 1963 film that became a key film in the development of Slovak and Czechoslovak cinema from the mandated Socialist-Realist filmmaking of the repressive 1950s towards the Czechoslovak/Czech New Wave and socially critical or experimental films of the 1960s marked by a gradual relaxation of communist control.)

 

Cast: To throw something forcefully in a specific direction or to cause (light or shadow) to appear on a surface. (1) : to assign the parts of (a dramatic production) to actors (2) to assign (as an actor) to a role or part <was cast in the leading role>
a : to give a shape to (a substance) by pouring in liquid or plastic form into a mold and letting harden without pressure <cast steel> a : to cause to move or send forth by throwing <cast a fishing lure> b : direct <cast a glance>
c (1) : to put forth <the fire casts a warm glow> <cast light on the subject> (2) : to place as if by throwing <cast doubt on their reliability>

 

About:

Forging a Nail engages our complex nuclear history as it 
relates to land use, resource extraction and the breadth 
of decisions that were made within the making of the first atomic bomb. The project emerged upon the finding of two inter-office memoranda sent from Robert Oppenheimer’s office on Oct. 18, 1943. The persistence and specificity of a repeated request for a nail for Oppenheimer’s hat inspired a hesitation in this peculiar moment as a way to frame a larger, more complex set of decisions connected to the making of the atomic bomb. Through a series of materials and processes they 
revisit this request as a way to sift through the 
residue of consequences left by this moment when human 
knowledge and power were eclipsed.  

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The latin root of memorandum is “a thing to be remembered” or “to keep in mind”.