35 mm black and white film, sound (original music by Patrick Gleeson and Terry Riley)


The film Crossroads documents the first military test on the Bikini Atoll and the underwater nuclear explosion that took place there on 25 July 1946. Based on United States government's footage, the film shows the explosion under 27 different angles provided by cameras on land, on boats and aboard planes.

Showing a fragmented explosion, the editing is akin to both a nuclear apocalypse and a vision under the effects of psychotropic drugs. It is accompanied by two sound tracks: one, created by Patrick Gleeson, includes bird songs, plane engines and detonations, and the other is a haunting composition by Terry Riley. By displaying such a dramaturgic aesthetics in the context of the Cold War, Bruce Conner takes position against his country's policy. Today, he is considered a pioneer of experimental cinema.

Bruce Conner exhibited Crossroads (1976), which is held in the Pinault Collection, in the exhibition The Illusion of Light at Palazzo Grassi, in 2014.