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

Alan Sondheim sondheim at panix.com
Tue Nov 14 16:51:49 CET 2017

Hi, it depends on the calculation; from what I gather, extinction rates 
had reached 3-4 an hour. It's unclear how many species there are; take 
fungi for example - very few are known percentage-wise and one book I have 
estimates the total will be somewhere around 30,000,000. As Science News 
also points out, it's unclear at times, given hybridization and rapid 
development (some species have branched in a few decades), what 
constitutes a species in the first place.

In any case, these stats, whichever are used, are horrifying, especially 
when you consider the fact that every species ultimately goes back 
billions of years...

- Alan

On Tue, 14 Nov 2017, marc.garrett via NetBehaviour wrote:

> // 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.
> https://extinctiongong.com/
> //<------------------------------------------------------------------------
> --
> Globally warm regards,
> --
> Julian Oliver
> https://julianoliver.com
> https://criticalengineering.org
> 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
> http://www.furtherfield.org
> Furtherfield Gallery & Commons in the park
> Finsbury Park, London N4 2NQ
> http://www.furtherfield.org/gallery
> Currently writing a PhD at Birkbeck University, London
> https://birkbeck.academia.edu/MarcGarrett
> Just published: Artists Re:thinking the Blockchain
> Eds, Ruth Catlow, Marc Garrett, Nathan Jones, & Sam Skinner
> Liverpool Press - http://bit.ly/2x8XlMK
> Sent with ProtonMail Secure Email.

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