ArthropodaChordataConiferophyta is a bio art video performance created by Timothy Weaver in 2013-2014. In this performance, there were multiple screens generating the shapes of different endangered or extinct wildlife, including insects, birds, and ancient forests. This performance incorporated both video and audio to create an “afterlife” of different lost and endangered wildlife.
The title “ArthropodaChordataConiferophyta” consists of the names of three different endangered phylum,Timothy Weaver named this performance “ArthropodaChordataConiferophyta” in order to memorize them and also to inform people that lots of other wildlife are near extinction. Timothy Weaver uses digital technologies to re-animate the different wildlife so that they could still be seen on the screen. This also reminds people the importance of protecting wildlife, otherwise they might only be seen on the screen in the future.
In this performance, we can see the reanimated wildlife living in the colorful environment, birds are flying in the sky, insects are having fun in the forest, and suddenly turns into black and white scenes that keeps reminding us that they are only illusions on screen and no longer exist in real lives. Also, there is a translation tool that can transcode the protein and DNA pieces into sonic sequences, Timothy Weaver uses this tool to translates the protein and DNA of some extinct wildlife and generates the sound of this performance.
Leanne Goebel states about “ArthropodaChordataConiferophyta” in her personal website:
“ Weaver focuses on extinct species through his art, he says, in an attempt to give them a second, digital life.They drove the cosmology of our space and they’ve gone missing,” he says. “When we think about the notion of the space, would we see these things or would we hear them? In the Amazon, you usually hear things before you see them, so what I am doing is laying in the immersion.”
At the Currents festival Weaver’s performance piece “ArthropodaChordataConiferophyta” was about the sequences around the now extinct passenger pigeon’s bio-energetic system. Utilizing data from the proteins he created an auditory and visual experience that allowed the audience to hear and be immersed in something that no longer exists.
“When you are reanimating extinction residue, we have data and most people don’t know what is meaningful in the code and I have to translate it and allow for the dialogue,then the audience has to come in and begin to rethink it.” Goebel Leanne(February26, 2014). (https://leannegoebel.com/2014/02/26/artist-technologist-re-animates-extinct-species/)
Another bio art video performance created by Timothy Weaver is called Biological Narrative, in this video, Timothy Weaver created five different chapters, which are “Primate”, “Homunculus”, “Pulmones”, “Bushmeat”, “Clemency”. This video also mentions the extinctions of lives. Different from ArthropodaChordataConiferophyta, Biological Narrative covers a lot more than extinctions, but also some details about biological information and physical descriptions and actions. This video explores the life significance and life extinction in a general way.
Similar as ArthropodaChordataConiferophyta, Doug Aitken’s Migration also explores the situation of wildlife. Doug Aitken created this video by recoding the “modern life” of wildlife that they have no spaces for living and migrate to the modern hotel. Different from Timothy Weaver’s art work, Doug Aitken inform people the importance of protecting wild animals by showing the future, that wildlife migrates to human spaces because of the lack of their previous living environment. However, Timothy Weaver uses lots of digital technology by creating the “past” to bring wildlife back to screen and remind audience of the extinctions of animals. Timothy Weaver created this video to show a happy “afterlife” of wildlife in order to remind the audiences a sad result that the extinction of them. And also gives audiences a significant recognitions of protecting wildlife.
Other relevant images:
Recent venues of this work
Sound Science, Denver Museum of Nature & Science, Denver, CO
Cornish Playhouse, Seattle Center, Seattle, WA
MediaLive 2013, Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art, Boulder, CO
Currents 2013, 4th Santa Fe International New Media Festival, Santa Fe, NM