IT IS TWO MINUTES TO MIDNIGHT
It is Two Minutes to Midnight was a unique, women driven exhibition that addressed timely political events that continue to unfold on the world’s stage. Featuring a variety of artistic processes from the high contrast, individual experience of the Oculus Rift and more painterly, group shared VR CAVE experiences, to the more contemplative, virtual PHSCologram sculptures, complemented by Martyl’s gouaches and vintage Bulletin covers–the collective works invited viewers to engage in a shared dialogue surrounding the use of technology to advance or diminish our longevity. The inclusion of historic photos further led participants on an investigative trail to the past that continues to impact our future. The variation of artistic processes underscored the shifting perspectives of our society as we continue to navigate an array of global challenges.
The CRISPR sculpture reminds of the atomic scientists’ original intent to harness nuclear energy and other innovations for responsible applications, such as medicine, to improve our life span, rather than endanger it with warfare that leads to environmental devastation.
The exhibition included a book signing launch for New Media Futures sponsored by the University of Illinois Press, and a lively panel discussion on ‘The Art and Design of the Doomsday Clock,’ sponsored by the Terra Foundation for American Art, with guest speakers Michael Golec, SAIC Department Chair and Design History Coordinator; Maggie Taft, author and historian; and Rachel Bronson, Bulletin CEO.
VR Tour Through the Doomsday Clock, Detail, 2018-19
Ellen Sandor & (art)n: Diana Torres and Azadeh Gholizadeh
Carolina Cruz-Neira, Jason Zak, Tanner Marshall and Jaimes Krutz, George W. Donaghey Emerging Analytics Center, University of Arkansas at Little Rock
William Robertson, Co-Founder/CTO Digital Museum of Digital Art
Special thanks to Janine Fron
Voiceover by Rachel Bronson President and CEO of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists In Memory of Martyl
Produced 15 years after the original Have a Nice Day, this body of work reveals heightened threats of nuclear warfare, growing tensions between nations, and environmental factors of climate change, along with positive scientific discoveries that could improve medicine and have many more beneficial applications.
In this reimagined virtual landscape the player explores the Los Alamos, desert site of Project Y and navigates through the Doomsday Clock timeline, from 1947 to 2018. All the textures of the landscape are a montage of Martyl’s landscape paintings of the same location. Each station contains visual cues that symbolize major events that occurred in specific year. The tour is narrated by Rachel Bronson, the president and CEO of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists.
Have a Nice Day II, Details, 2017
Ellen Sandor & (art)n: Chris Kemp, Diana Torres, Azadeh Gholizadeh and Janine Fron
In Memory of Martyl
Digital PHSCologram Sculpture Duratrans, Kodalith and Plexiglas
42 x 32 x 72
In homage to the original 'Have a Nice Day' PHSCologram collaboration with the late artist and Doomsday Clock designer, Martyl, Ellen Sandor and (art)n created a PHSCologram sculpture with three additional panels to compliment the original, addressing more in depth factors that have lead and continue to push humanity towards midnight. Produced 15 years after the original 'Have a Nice Day,' this new work reveals heightened threats of nuclear warfare, growing tensions between nations, and environmental factors of climate change, featuring Martyl’s landscape paintings from Mountain & Islands (1999), the Doomsday Clock, and archived concerns from the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists.
Have a Nice Day, 2002
Ellen Sandor & (art)n: Keith Miller, Pete Latrofa and Janine Fron
Virtual Photograph/PHSCologram: Duratrans, Kodalith, Plexiglas
30 x 40 inches
A painterly mountainscape inspired by Martyl's Tent Rocks looms in the background, ominously juxtaposed with Martyl's Doomsday Clock, initially designed in 1947 as a magazine cover for the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists. The clock is instantly recognized as a symbol of the nuclear arms race. Its relevance is of even more importance today, with rogue nations now admitting to possessing nuclear weapons, and recent increased terrorist activity. We can only hope this work is not a symbol of what is to come, as we try to make light of the dark humor in the title—Have a Nice Day.