Day 7 | Michelle Bauer Carpenter & Vidie Lange

Trinity, titled for the location of the first atomic explosion on July 16th, 1945 utilizes the techniques of collage and montage to combine original video footage with found footage. This collision of imagery addresses the birth of the atomic age, ground zero and its complex relationship with history. Trinity combines image metaphors, text and music that relate the apocalyptic nightmare, haunting military power and the twisted memories of the first atomic blast. Archival imagery juxtaposed with original footage shot at the Trinity Site in the White Sands Missile range in southern New Mexico display the banal fascination with the destructive power of the atomic bomb. 

Trinity opens with a brief history of atomic age and the explosion of the first nuclear device. This moment transforms history and the viewer is thrust into the horrifying beauty and power of the blast. Red and orange flames fill the screen and the viewer is transported to the present day Trinity Site. We experience the Trinity Site through a tourist’s eyes. The present day transforms into footage from Bikini Atoll, Nevada, and Naval ships all sites testing the world’s greatest power. The viewer is returned to the present day Trinity Site to shop for memorabilia.

Trinity asks the viewer to critically examine the powers of war, its impact and our selective loss of memory.

Trinity, 2007 – TRT 14:30 mins


Michelle Bauer Carpenter is an Assistant Professor of Digital Design in the College of Arts & Media at the University of Colorado Denver. Carpenter has produced, directed and edited various experimental and documentary pieces. Her video pieces have screened on broadcast television, numerous international and national film festivals and art galleries.

Michelle’s prior work experience as operations director at Free Speech TV includes collaboration with grassroots organizations and larger institutions including the Getty Museum, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Roosevelt Institute, Human Rights Watch International, among others. She has received numerous grants including her recent Colorado Council on the Grant and Arts Fellowship.

Michelle Bauer Carpenter – Denver Colorado

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