Media: Burnt Japanese Dictionary, 108 film canisters, burnt 2x4 stud, audio.
Ash Lexicon contains 108 film canisters from 1940s filled with ash from a burnt Japanese dictionary, one that is identical to the one once owned by my grandfather. On August 6th, 1945, at 8:15 AM, my grandfather, Takeshi Ito, witnessed a great tragedy that destroyed nearly everything in Hiroshima. He survived the bombing yet he died from cancer when I was 10 years old. He once told through his book, upon returning to his home after the bombing, he found his cherished Japanese dictionary incinerated, and saw that the ink had turned white on the blackened pages, as if it were rendered into a photographic negative. At the same time that the radiation from the atomic bomb was inscribing itself into my grandfather’s genes, the flames from the bomb burned everything in Hiroshima, including the Japanese dictionaries my grandfather greatly cared for. This archive of history and culture became ash, thereby recording the destructive force of this new human technology.
The two-channel audio component, composed by Andrew Paul Keiper, is a soundscape inspired by the specially modified B-29 Superfortress heavy bombers used in the atomic attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Dubbed Silverplate Series, these planes not only carried and dropped the bombs, but performed other aspects of the missions, including scouting and observation.