I Saw The World End premiered on the big screen Piccadilly Circus, London, a digital work by Es Devlin and Machiko Weston commissioned by The Imperial War Museum in response to the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
The text of I Saw The World End has been collated by Devlin and her long time collaborator Machiko Weston from a range of sources in Japanese and English.
Half of the text, read by Devlin in English, traces the origination of the atomic bomb in fiction by HG Wells, the account of the translation directly from fiction to physics by Leo Szilard, and the aspiration, rationale, and rehearsal by the leading protagonists of the Manhattan project.
The other half of the text is read in Japanese by Weston with simultaneous translation into English. The Japanese texts are all accounts of two moments in time - the moments the atomic bombs landed on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
The audio was mixed in binaural to create a 3D sound image on headphones. This allowed each voice to be dramatically spatialised, to reflect the essence of the work; a feeling of division. Expressed in the splitting of the screen, splitting the atom, the division between fiction and fact, race divisions, the division between humans and the planet.
The final soundtrack was streamed live across mobile phone networks synchronised to the main Piccadilly Circus screen.
Imperial War Museum
Music Composition + Sound Design
Binaural Audio Integration