Artifacts from The Desert and The Impossible Search for The Atomic Device

Nicholas Albrecht

2014 - 2018

Artifacts from the Desert and the Impossible Search for The Atomic Device is an ongoing body of work looking at the relationship between the inhabitants of Southern California's desert regions, the area’s history with atomic testing, and the lingering psychological “presence” of the Hiroshima prototype device. The impossibility of the search refers both to the fact that no physical remains exist of the test, and to the understanding that photography exists beyond representation.

I have spent many years working on the desert landscape in the area of the Salton Sea and have developed a strong connection with the land and its inhabitants. All work is done on 8x10 film (color and B&W) processed and printed in my studio. The physicality of the large format and the full control over the entire process allows the work to “suffer” form the harsh desert environment. The final Silver Gelatin and C-Type prints will be printed in a variety of sizes, from 8x10 inch contact prints to 32x40 inch enlargements, in order to create a more dynamic viewing experience.

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  • Child in emergency blanket in proximity of test site.

  • Circular light in canyon.

  • Burned down home approximately 23.6 miles from test site. Salton Sea Beach, CA.

  • Desert Landscape.

  • Circular shape and oval shadow.

  • Desert Canyon.

  • Desert landscapes approximately 7 miles from test site.

  • Trinity.

  • Mounds of burning soil approximately 15.1 miles from test site.

  • Fac Simile of Socrates.

  • Desert landscape approximately 7.8 miles from test site.

  • Fac Simile of J. Robert Oppenheimer.

  • Community antennas. Salton Sea Beach, CA.

  • Landscape and Marine.

  • Untitled II.

  • Tree lined driveway and home approximately 15.3 miles from test site.

  • Abandoned Navy bunker at test site.

  • Dust emerging from crater-like hole.

  • Untitled III.

  • Untitled I.