Giger's Die Atom Kinder (1967)

leading from

Die Atom Kinder, 1967
a) Birth of the Atom Kinder concept
Giger's friend Bijan Alaam's story about this was that there was a great fear of nuclear war towards the time  when Giger composed this picture,  reaching it's climax with the Cuban crisis. People there feared that a nuclear war could break out and as we knew from Hiroshima, monstrosities could be created by mutation. Giger was very much impressed and affected by this and he called his first ink drawings The Atomic children, as if a nuclear war had taken place and left amputees and monstrosities created by radiation in 1967.

b) The drawing
The drawing he did by spraying black ink on transparent paper which is used by architects, and then scratch away at it with a razor blade.

c) Evolution of the Atom Kinder idea
Giger would come  to describe his Atom Kinder as cyberpunks, wearing virtual reality headpieces. Back at the time Cyberpunks didn't exist as a term, it would be coined by Bruce Bethke in 1980 for his short story "Cyberpunk" and then made popular by the likes of William Gibson in his novel "Neuromancer". Did Giger have an idea anywhere near to this at the time about his Atom Kinder?

Source quotes
  1. Giger: These were the Pump Excursions, a suicide that looks like an Indian playing the flute. He is sitting with the barrel of a pump-action shotgun in his mouth. I have such a gun at home. I did this painting four times, twice in black and white and twice in color. The color versions are different in textured relief. Since then I have also used the airbrush a few times on lithographs, but I did this in the old manner in which I worked between 1966 and 1969 on my Atomic Children, cyberpunks wearing virtual reality headpieces. I spray on transparent paper which is used by architects, and then I scratch away at it with a razor blade. I also use a paper with a special coating that's a little stronger. I can scratch away at it six or seven times without making a hole in it. (Int Tattoo Art_Feb1995)
  2. Bijan Alaam: There was a great fear of nuclear war at that time which reached its climax in 1963 with the Cuban crisis. People there feared that a nuclear war could break out and as we knew from Hiroshima, monstrosities could be created by mutation. Giger was very much impressed and affected by this and he called his first ink drawings The Atomic children, as if a nuclear war had taken place and left amputees and monstrosities created by radiation. 1967 (Giger Revealed Documentary)
     
Die Atom Kinder, 1967

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