A time-lapse video map of 2,053 nuclear explosions from 1945 through 1998 (Hashimoto)

Created by Japanese Artist Isao Hashimoto: A time-lapse video map of 2,053 nuclear explosions from 1945 through 1998.

Starts off a little slow, but keep watching and you’ll be mesmerized.

From the YouTube posting:

“Japanese artist Isao Hashimoto has created a beautiful, undeniably scary time-lapse map of the 2053 nuclear explosions which have taken place between 1945 and 1998, beginning with the Manhattan Project’s “Trinity” test near Los Alamos and concluding with Pakistan’s nuclear tests in May of 1998. This leaves out North Korea’s two alleged nuclear tests in this past decade (the legitimacy of both of which is not 100% clear).

Each nation gets a blip and a flashing dot on the map whenever they detonate a nuclear weapon, with a running tally kept on the top and bottom bars of the screen. Hashimoto, who began the project in 2003, says that he created it with the goal of showing”the fear and folly of nuclear weapons.” It starts really slow — if you want to see real action, skip ahead to 1962 or so — but the buildup becomes overwhelming.

Multimedia artwork

“2053” – This is the number of nuclear explosions conducted in various parts of the globe.*
Profile of the artist: Isao HASHIMOTO
Born in Kumamoto prefecture, Japan in 1959.

Worked for 17 years in financial industry as a foreign exchange dealer. Studied at Department of Arts, Policy and Management of Musashino Art University, Tokyo.

Currently working for Lalique Museum, Hakone, Japan as a curator.
Created artwork series expressing, in the artist’s view, “the fear and the folly of nuclear weapons”:

“1945-1998” © 2003
“The Names of Experiments”

About “1945-1998” ©2003

“This piece of work is a bird’s eye view of the history by scaling down a month length of time into one second. No letter is used for equal messaging to all viewers without language barrier. The blinking light, sound and the numbers on the world map show when, where and how many experiments each country have conducted. I created this work for the means of an interface to the people who are yet to know of the extremely grave, but present problem of the world.”

Contact the artist:

Should you have any query regarding this artwork, please contact e-mail address below:
hashi123 a t amy.hi-ho.ne.jp

* The number excludes both tests by North Korea (October 2006 and May 2009).


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6 Responses

    • @David — There’s some evidence that Israel tested a nuclear device in the Negev in 1963 and another in cooperation with the Afrikaner government in South Africa in 1979.

      In 1969, Nixon pressed Israel not undertake a test program.

      My guess is that Israel has received so much help from the British, the French, and above all the US that it has never really needed to test for any reason other than saber-rattling.

  1. Like the North Korean tests, Israel’s nuclear weapons testing remains shrouded in secrecy, which is why it was not included in this time-lapse video. However, Israel is widely believed to have carried out an atmospheric test in 1979 incooperation with South Africa’s apartheid regime. For further details, see:

    Nuclear Weapons and Israel: Nuclear testing (Wikipedia)
    link to en.wikipedia.org

    The Samson option: Israel’s Nuclear Arsenal and American Foreign Policy (Seymour Hersch)
    link to archive.org

    The Vela Incident (National Security Archive)
    link to gwu.edu

  2. Would be interesting to let viewers notate the video, see the thoughts that run through their heads while it unfolds. It’s hard for me in watching to escape a sense of the murderous intent of US officials in their continued refinement of this killing weapon, or the untold–unmeasured–lingering ecological damage incurred by the detonations/aftermaths. . . Obviously, these decisions and actions took place far outside the boundaries of any democratic or participatory practice as most of us would care to define it.

  3. This is the work of an African-American artist, not a Japanese, isn’t it?

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