[NetBehaviour] // Project announcement: The Extinction Gong //

marc.garrett marc.garrett at protonmail.com
Tue Nov 14 16:04:39 CET 2017

// Project announcement: The Extinction Gong //
The Extinction Gong is a ceremonial automaton for the Sixth Mass Extinction,
the human-induced process of planet-scale biological annihilation first formally
recognised by scientists in 2014.

Taking the form of a large traditional 'Chao Gong' its rear-face is fitted with
a mechanism that beats to the rhythm of species extinction, estimated by eminent
biologist E.O. Wilson to be about 27000 losses a year, or once every 19 minutes.
The significance of this figure (and those like it by other scientists) cannot
be overstated: for millennia the average 'background rate' of (plant, animal and
insect) species extinction has been between 1 and 5 a year, right back to the
5th Extinction that took the dinosaurs 65M years ago.

Should biologists declare a new species extinct while the Extinction Gong is
active it will receive an update via a 3g link and perform a special ceremony:
four strikes in quick succession alongside a text-to-speech utterance of the
Latin Name of the species lost, resonating through the gong.

Seen at its front, the Extinction Gong hangs in a large metal frame and bears
the stark neo-primitivist image of the Extinction Symbol, the official mark of
the Sixth Mass Extinction. Seen from the back however it is a work of
engineering, complete with mallet, electro-magnet, audio transducer, embedded
computer and 3g downlink. This diametric expresses a brutal and contradicting
irony - while advances in science and technology augment the devastating impact
of human endeavours over wild habitats, so are they our best means of studying
and understanding it.



Globally warm regards,

Julian Oliver
PGP https://julianoliver.com/key.asc
Beware the auto-complete life

Marc Garrett

Co-Founder, Co-Director and main editor of Furtherfield.
Art, technology and social change, since 1996

Furtherfield Gallery & Commons in the park
Finsbury Park, London N4 2NQhttp://www.furtherfield.org/gallery
Currently writing a PhD at Birkbeck University, London
Just published: Artists Re:thinking the Blockchain
Eds, Ruth Catlow, Marc Garrett, Nathan Jones, & Sam Skinner
Liverpool Press - http://bit.ly/2x8XlMK

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