hylaea:evolutio is an interactive video assemblage that seeks to reanimate the residues, record and archives of lost ecological memory. Part ecological ghost story/part zoological bibliography, this assemblage stems from a desire to partially awaken the resting memories of lost life forms from the extinct species cabinets of the museum and the rare book shelves of the library. In converging the seeds of motion, sound, interaction and macroscopic detail, the intent of the work is for viewers to recall that within less than a century of the publication of the first written and painted records of the astounding bird life of North America, both common and mythological species have become the lost icons of human-induced extinctions.
The hylaea:evolutio assemblage is one of a series of new media works that explore the language, sites, mediation and possible restoration of lost ecological memory. The series title Hylaea refers to the mythical and now lost forests of ancient Greece and to Alexander von Humboldt’s explorations of the virgin neotropical forests of the Americas. This project series collectively brings together disparate artifacts of lost ecological memory such as the deep colors and textures of extinct birds wings; sonic translations of the DNA and proteins of missing species; and passages from the pages of endangered books that were the original published record of the exquisite lifeforms of North America. The hope is that audience engagement with such immersive experiences may re-mediate the patterns of lost ecological memory as a means of facilitating a discourse into the state of ecological consciousness during our time of cascading extinctions.
Recent project venues for this work:
Currents2011, 2nd Santa Fe International New Media Festival, Santa Fe, NM