Four Minutes, Full Volume, 2023
4K Digital video with audio
Four Minutes, Full Volume is an ongoing body of work consisting of a short film, photographs and wind chime multi-media installation about the emergency testing near the nuclear power plant, Indian Point Energy Center, just north of New York City. The eponymous short film, Four Minutes, Full Volume, meditatively chronicles the emergency siren test that occurred on March 15, 2023 across Indian Point’s Emergency Planning Zone. This is a 10 mile radius surrounding the plant to help people avoid/reduce the inhalation of harmful chemicals as a result of a radiological emergency. There are 172 sirens within this zone that are tested simultaneously at full volume for four minutes at an increasingly loud wavering tone of around 580 Hz. The siren’s location and frequency is designed to the zone’s population density, ambient noise levels, topographic conditions, and weather conditions like wind patterns.
The wind chime installation includes a hand made wind chime, original photographs and archival documents. The individual chimes are tuned to the same 580 Hz frequency as the siren tests in Indian Point’s EPZ. It is installed in front of a 1950s wind and nuclear radiation fallout study conducted by the U.S. government. There are five accompanying documentary style landscape photographs of the sites to give an abstracted and poetic entry point to the work. This installation highlights the unpredictability of wind patterns and nuclear disaster, sound science, music and religious uses of chimes to ward off evil.
Indian Point Energy Center powered New York for over 50 years before it was decommissioned in April 2021. It could take up to 60 years to fully close the plant. During this interim time, it remains vulnerable to natural and manmade disasters such as hurricanes, fires, earthquakes and environmental damage to the Hudson River and surrounding communities through improper radioactive waste handling.