Nuclear-related artworks provide a favorable terrain for investigation of our contemporary epoch, for they relate to a science whose applications are highly political and that is spreading beyond the Western world. In times of global warming, indeed, the prospect of nuclear energy reappears as the latest sought-after modern technology. But after Hiroshima and Chernobyl, and given the dualistic civilian and military use of the atom, how do artists react to nuclear activities and their inherent politics? Can art provide an effective counterpractice to global nuclear politics? The author argues that art and science share the same project—the modernist project—and that art, like science, has to question its modern heritage.

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