Daniel Small

The work of Daniel Small. Here is one of his projects.

Expert Witness negotiates and employs new speculative terms for the ballistics testing of a decorative Adam’s rib hobnail vase that was produced using depleted uranium salvaged from the Cold War arms race. In negotiating these terms an expert witness who has served as a ballistics expert in hundreds of trials in Los Angeles was contacted and the project was carried out in the high desert of the Mojave where he currently operates a training facility for special operations forces, FBI, military, and as a ballistics testing ground. He has also served as a producer and writer for many training and forensic ballistics informational films. The encampment in the desert serves as a base for defense contracts, and special operations teams prepare for deployment weeks before training bodyguards and small militias that protect politicians and a myriad of groups that have been labeled as radical.

In the context of mercenary contracts this narrative doubles and reconfigures itself from several perspectives, that of the witness who is a witness of the expert witness, that of the materials and terms, and that of the actual testing intersecting where uranium glass became an obsolete decorative craft and subsequently became co-opted by the military industrial complex. These initial terms, as well as a myriad of other confabulations that may only be accounted for through speculation constitute a series of reflexive chronologies.

Uranium glass saw the height of its production from the early 1900’s until around 1946 when glass production ceased to use the uranium for the production of military arms. The uranium used for the vase that is embedded in the ballistics gelatin was produced as a byproduct of enriched uranium used to make weapons. When tested, the glass can range anywhere from having trace amounts to twenty-five percent uranium, but in this case the vase used had less than one percent depleted uranium which would be less than you might receive from a smoke detector or natural background radiation. The vase was in fact a counterfeit that had been masterfully disguised by its maker, and was chosen by the witness out of a line-up of possible options. The terms of the actual testing were completely dictated by the witness, who chose all of the circumstances that the project would happen under including the weapons, ammunition, distance, and location it would be carried out from.

The pioneers in stagecoaches are from a local bank robbery case, and were collected as evidence during the investigation due to gun shot residue that had been left on their surfaces that would have later helped to recreate the shooters positions in the bank at the time of the robbery. Their removal and collection were however never intended to be used as evidence, but to be re-appropriated as images that now hang above the beds of training militias at the encampment in the desert.

**All images and text is from danielrsmall.com


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