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Artists Respond to the Neutron Bomb


Gods of Politics,14x11” graphite on paper, Joseph NechvatalGods of Politics,14x11” graphite on paper, Joseph Nechvatal
Artists Respond to the Neutron Bomb
Produced and Reported by Gail Pellett
Aired on: National Public Radio Date: 1982

The largest anti-nuclear demonstration in U.S history took place in New York in the spring of 1982. The catalyst for this outpouring of opposition to the nuclear arms race was recent news of the Neutron Bomb which was designed to kill millions of people without destroying buildings. This fifteen minute sound portrait weaves music, effects and interviews with a variety of artists, choreographers and poets who were part of that creative opposition.

Interviews include the famous portrait painter, Alice Neel — then 82 — and a new provocative young artist, Joseph Nechvatal, choreographers Myrna Packer and Mel Wong – each doing very different work, poet and activist, June Jordan, along with a 16 yr old drama student and a young 9 year old poet. It was aired on the new, at that time, Sunday Arts Journal, NPR, 1982.

Joseph Nechvatal believes his work is deep, reflective and thoughtful — all qualities and values he hopes to encourage. He believes this is such a big public issue and hopes that his work has had an impact.

June Jordan, Alice Neel and Mel Wong have since passed on after rich and expansive careers touching many souls and minds. Joseph Nechvatel and Myrna Packer have continued with enormously productive careers and received much critical acclaim and recognition for their work. Both have integrated new media and computer technologies into their work and consequently have engaged with the interaction between technology and the human project.