Good evening. Here I am, adding to the enormous weight of words that already exist; not adding any new ones, but rearranging some old ones in an effort to explain myself. Certain things have been occupying my time, among them a film about the Nuclear Bomb. I think often about it (them) and have recently been conducting some ad hoc research into ‘awareness’ of it (them). I and several others have been asking strangers how many active nuclear weapons exist on our planet, and have received a variety of answers; from a beautifully naive “I think we’ve got rid of them all,” on through “lots. Oh, lots. At least a hundred,” and on to a very confidently specific “four hundred and eighty-nine.” What has emerged from our extremely unscientific approach is that really, no-one has any idea. There are, in fact, at least sixteen thousand of them.

It’s a worrying figure for many reasons; when you factor in accidents, terrorism, sociopathic leaders, mechanical degradation and so on, it’s enough to make you want to find the nearest bunker or something. But there were more than double that number at the height of the Cold War, so from a more ‘positive’ outlook you could say that, well, we’ve got rid of half of them, at least. Which is true. But the general level of ignorance about these weapons (and how many there are of them) is very concerning. I have spent my years very worried about nuclear war, worried about some sort of nuclear disaster (and there have been a staggering number of close calls) and deeply concerned about the proliferation of these bombs. Arguably it was the work of Peter Kennard which first got me interested in making useful art myself, and much of my earlier work (for instance, the cover of Radiohead’s Karma Police) referenced issues around nuclear war. And now I’m art-directing a film about the Bomb.

I’m not sure how much I’m supposed to say about it yet, but, you know, I’ll do my best to ‘keep you posted’…

22nd November 2015