Commit to Memory: The Precipice of Extinction
Commit to Memory: The Precipice of Extinction is a multi-platform, social commentary addressing the shifting and eventual disappearance of our culture using animals as metaphors with overall goal being socially relevant as well as visually compelling.
Using animals on the endangered species list I have created a multi-media graphic audiovisual representation of society teetering on the verge of collapse. Artistic depictions of animal species as victims illustrate the decline of the American democratic system. Use of the word "extinction" throughout the narrative is the blueprint of this project.
The Elephant alludes to the destruction of family and community. Scientists have long used footage of elephant rescues to measure humanities ability to feel empathy. This aspect of the project questions the impulse to kill animals that make us feel “love.”
The Penguin explores the disappearance of societal structures. With the destruction of the artic certain penguins are left with nowhere to go except man-made exploitive habitats such as Sea World. What is life when our last option resembles a prison?
The Frog alludes to complete extinction caused by disease through globalization. The African Bullfrog was brought to the Americas for one purpose—to be living pregnancy tests for humans. These creatures, used to predict life, eventually became the destruction of an entire species of frogs as they carried a fungus eradicating the indigenous golden frog. This is reminiscent of indigenous peoples succumbing to European diseases.
The Tiger explores the emotional impact due to the fact of how home and territory is rapidly being diminished by development. By obliterating our environment, we are left to somehow adjust to new social order and redefine the norm. The contributing factors such as war, globalization, gentrification and handouts, continue to pave the way but it is not without consequence.
A quote by Nicelle Davis explains my statement rather clearly:
Death is a charmer; nothing makes us feel more alive than brushing shoulders with him at a bar, in our cars, or at 5,000 feet in the air. Every time we risk and survive there is a thrill. We feel like we won more life because we are not the ones dying.
There is something sexy about Death, how when poachers take a machete to the face of an elephant, how sex is always better once it’s gone, or when whalers take a grenade harpoon to a whale—even more so when an entire species is gone, how life looks for life even inside a zoo.
But Death is a trickster. We can never win at his game. We might be living, but our humanity is dying. Soon, there will be nothing of our lives worth living for.