New York, 19 April 2012, Art Media Agency (AMA).
The artist and architect Maya Lin, known for her memorials, about the Vietnam War and human rights, set up in the United States, launched the second phase of her project What Is Missing. This project, taking the shape of an Internet webpage, is described by Maya Lin as her “last memorial”.
What Is Missing has depicted since its creation an interactive work where each animal and vegetable species whose extinction (from 15,000 BC to today) was listed in scientific annals is depicted by a dot. The visitor can ask the webpage to place this dot either on a world map, to know the geographical scope in which the species was located for the last time, either on a time line, to know when it became extinct. This final work aims at making the visitor aware of the acceleration of extinctions regarding animal species during these last fifty years. By clicking on the dot, one finds data and information about a precise species and about the measures carried out to protect it. For example, the visitor can learn that from the 13th century, sovereigns of Eastern Europe had banned the hunting of aurochs so as to slow down the species’ dwindling.
For this second phase, launched on the occasion of Earth Day 2012, the map also depicts fragile environments and the organizations working to preserve these ecosystems. By clicking on the dots, we gain access, this time, to a video made for What Is Missing and illustrating the related theme.
The work’s third phase, planned for Earth Day 2013 will depict Eco-Friendly consumption and production models, in brief the solutions to live in harmony with Earth and, according to the webpage, balance our needs with the planet’s needs.
Another of the project’s events is the Listening Cone, set up in front of several scientific institutions. This sculpture, made from ecological materials (wood, recycled plastic, etc.), and of a size depending on the location where it is set up, broadcasts in the back of a cone video documents from What Is Missing’s works.