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Title: The Four-Minute Warning Drawing Machine: revealing the assemblages of nuclear deterrence
Authors: Mulvihill, Michael
Issue Date: 2019
Publisher: Newcastle University
Abstract: This research sets out to use art practice as a critical method to make the social and cultural production of nuclear weapon systems visible in everyday life experience. The research draws upon a critical framework based on new materialist philosophies that see reality as composed of interacting “machinic” assemblages of affects and more-than-human relationships (DeLanda 2015). These philosophies position active processes, such as artmaking, as tacit ways of making visible “the concrete yet complex materiality of bodies immersed in social relationships of power” (Braidotti 2015), which are otherwise invisible to fixed representational ontology. The artworks that have emerged establish entwined relationships between nuclear weapon manufacture and artmaking by making commonalities between workshop configuration, administrative processes and transportation. Insight has also been drawn from immersive work within the Cold War archives at RAF Fylingdales as the station’s – and the RAF’s – first artist in residence. Unprecedented access was given to the site, which reveals the ballistic missile early warning station’s interconnectivity beyond its barbed wire perimeter. These relationships have been conceptualised as the four-minute warning drawing assemblage comprising interactive social parts that include drawing practices and instruments of deterrence, constantly producing new techno–social worlds and novel arrangements of life beyond normative perception. In doing so, the research makes a contribution to new and urgent debates about nuclear weapons and the emerging risk of nuclear war by providing different and innovative ways of thinking about society and our relationships to the bomb.
Description: Ph. D. Thesis
Appears in Collections:School of Arts and Cultures

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