Jeremy Bolen, Brian Holmes and Brian Kirkbride, Born Secret (Cash for Kryptonite)

Born Secret begins in Metropolis, Illinois, where the fictional Superman discovered kryptonite, his one fatal weakness. Here, a real factory produced uranium hexafluoride gas, which was enriched for use in nuclear bombs at another site just across the river, in Paducah, Kentucky. These installations exemplify the science-based production process of our own fatal weakness: the “Great Acceleration” of the Anthropocene, whose geological threshold is marked by fallout particles deposited across the earth during the period of above-ground nuclear testing (1952-1964). We follow the Anthropocene mode of production to its top-secret origin at Oak Ridge Laboratory, where the Manhattan Project drew on hydroelectric power furnished by the river-basin development program of the Tennessee Valley Authority.