Heavy Water (2018) is a body of work comprising a three-channel and two-channel video installation that investigates the social and political implications of South Carolina’s Savannah River Site (SRS), a U.S. nuclear weapons program facility and National Environmental Research Park. Johnson’s video and sound installation explores the relationship between SRS – a key disposition site for weapons-grade plutonium – and the free-ranging, wild dogs that live on the 310 square mile complex. Some ecologists suggest the dogs may be ancestors of the first dogs that entered North America more than 8,000 years ago, and in Johnson’s work this epic ancient timeline converges with another – that of the precarious, untenable future of nuclear weapons and radioactive waste.
director: Erin Johnson
director of photography: Jeffrey Griecci
editor: Matt Nelson
sound: Matt Nelson
Commissioned by Telfair Museums, Savannah, GA