A surreal multimedia experience examining astronomical obervation and climatic effects of atomic warfare

by Hana Rose Shell

CLIMAX is inspired by a remote astronomical observatory built in the 1940s on the Continental Divide, in Coloradoʼs Rocky Mountains, on the property of the Climax Molybdenum Company. The observatory is, in its material form at least, long since gone, fallen into the so-called “glory hole” of the mine itself.

CLIMAX combines archival and contemporary media, and documentation of the modern-day mine, with unique soundscapes. Archival film materials will converge with modern-day visualizations from astronomical labs. Inspired by the ionospheric interference and radio distortion caused by solar flaring, the sonic landscape of CLIMAX will draw on Sergei Prokofievʼs “Field of the Dead” (from Sergei Eisensteinʼs Alexander Nevsky) while also evoking the connection between astrophysical observation and the human-induced climactic effects of atomic warfare.


About the Artists

Hanna Rose Shell

Hanna Rose Shell is media artist, and historian of science and art, and an associate professor of Critical and Curatorial Studies at the Department of Art & Art History, and the Department of Cinema Studies & Moving Image Arts. Shell is also the Faculty Director of the Brakhage Center for the Media Arts.

Luke Fischbeck

Luke Fischbeck is an artist, composer, and technologist. He is a contributing member (with Sarah Rara) of the group Lucky Dragons, co-founder and principal organizer of Sumi Ink Club, and a director of the non-profit arts organization Human Resources