Command Performance (excerpt)

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One of three videos from Human Hand, a collaboration between Fiona Amundsen and Tim Corballis.

"From a 1970s experimental micro-city, to a structure meant to replicate human life in outer space, and the home of the largest intercontinental ballistic missile deployed by the US Air Force: Human Hand by Fiona Amundsen and Tim Corballis takes us on a journey through video and photography to three historically-laden sites in Arizona, USA.

As part of Fiona Amundsen’s tenure of Fulbright Scholar Award in 2019, Amundsen and Corballis spent time at all three sites – the micro-city Arcosanti, talking with people who had resided there since its heyday; Biosphere 2, a closed structure built to model global systems and demonstrate the viability of supporting human life in outer space; and the Titan Missile Museum, home of a Titan II Missile. Human Hand brings these divergent images and perspectives together, showing a range of views, from the alternative lifestyle of Arcosanti, to the woman who was in charge of turning the key to detonate the missile during the Cold War. Amundsen also met with deep ecology theorist, Buddhist and environmental activist Joanna Macy, whose thinking is integral to this new work.

At the three sites Amundsen and Corballis respond to, people have coped differently with the consequences of military capitalism—hoping either to build alternatives, to escape, or to live right at the heart of it. The artworks ask how lens-based imagery may give agency to the nuanced reality of social lives in the wake of military histories. Amundsen and Corballis are interested in how such imagery can advocate for the human-to-human care that our present moment is so desperately in need of, sharing and promoting a sacred responsibility for life and living. "

- promotional text from Dowse Art Museum (2020)

Credits: 

A collaboration between Fiona Amundsen and Tim Corballis