Bikini Atoll Containment II Bikini Atoll Containment II Bikini Atoll Containment II Bikini Atoll Containment II Bikini Atoll Containment II Bikini Atoll Containment II

Equilibrium, Bikini Atoll Containment is a mesmerizing and thought-provoking installation that uses a combination of materials such as coconuts, glass, salt water, lead plate, and wood to create a visual representation of the dangers of nuclear waste and its potential impact on the marine environment. The piece is arranged on a lead plate, typically used to shield nuclear radiation, and features coconuts meticulously positioned next to a plinth that holds an aquarium filled with salt water. Inside the aquarium, a radioactively-contaminated coconut from the Marshall Islands floats in equilibrium, addressing the bioaccumulation of toxins like radioactive isotopes inside bodies. Theoretically, the weight of a contaminated coconut body would be heavier than a non-contaminated one. The installation serves as a metaphor for nuclear waste management and its migration into the marine environment and the world, highlighting the challenges of identifying and managing contaminated landscapes. Some of the coconuts are covered in grids filled with lead, referencing the stick charts used by the ancient Polynesian sailors of the Marshall Islands. This transforms the coconuts into a formally aesthetic and minimalist manner, while simultaneously signaling uncanny connotations to anyone who learns of their origins. The installation raises important questions about how we react to a threat that is not perceivable by the human senses, and serves as a reminder of the ongoing consequences of Cold War nuclear testing. The installation also highlights the current challenges of nuclear waste management, specifically the danger of the Cactus Dome on the Enewatak Atoll, as cracks grow in its concrete containment and ocean levels rise.

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