// 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/

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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

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