THE ENDEMIC PROJECT
site specific immersive installation experience
“You probably found yourself wondering whether your eyes were playing tricks on you
or if you were experiencing a moment of transcendental consciousness.”
THE ENDEMIC PROJECT
May 2015 - Sept 2016
Immersive installation experience on Rhodes Drive. Cape Town South Africa
'Turning the cars of commuters into spaceships' - for a 6 kilometre stretch of a dark forest road on the urban fringe we installed reflector creatures that are endemic to the area, as in they are not found anywhere else on earth,
When you drove your car down the road your headlights lit them up for a brief dazzling existence.
We geo-tagged all the glowing creatures and with a downloadable APP you could listen to their soundscape as you drove past them. The project remained installed, unsanctioned, but protected by the community for over a year.
Sound arranged by Sylvan Aztok
: : Project documentation film : :
These creatures are Endemic - they are found nowhere else on earth.
Comfort/Convenience vs Biodiversity and rich natural heritage:
Ecologists & Conservationists want to cut down the alien trees so that Indigenous Fynbos and biodiversity can return to the area / Citizens in the area want to walk their dogs in the shade.
All the creatures you see in the project could exist in the area if the trees they are nailed to weren’t there.
The stretch of road between Kirstenbosch Botanical gardens and Hout Bay is a contentious area on the frontlines of conservation principles. Parts of the road fall within the Table Mountain National Park, which seeks to protect a valuable part of the celebrated Fynbos Biome, the smallest and most biodiversity rich per unit area of the world’s six floristic kingdoms, and the only floral kingdom to be hosted by one nation.
A fundamental directive of conservation is the eradication of alien species as they pose a threat to biodiversity and indigenous species. However people want to walk their dogs, cycle, run etc in the shade of the forest. A forest of aliens... and so an interesting dynamic is created, and one that is perhaps indicative of a bigger story unfolding on our planet.
“totally utterly inspired by this work.....
it's like being in a fantasy world, yet realising at the same time that it's our real world.
I was almost breathless driving along Rhodes Drive the other night....
brought back feelings of anticipation and excitement that I have not had since I was a child.
THank you thank you thank you for this outstanding installation.
I cannot put words to the gratitude I feel ”
- Vanessa Thomas,
Endemic Project Facebook page
With the possible exception of the rat,
human's are now the most numerous mammal on earth...
perhaps with that power must come responsibility.
AS A MAMMAL:
"Using a tape recording,
my dad once called all the owls in the forest to gather around us,
their haunting calls echoing through the dark trees...
I will never forget the quiet beauty and magic of it,
there was a sort of communion between kingdoms,
albeit a dialogue facilitated by technology.
Will our love affair with technology find a communion with nature or alienate us further?"
AS A STORYTELLER:
"I am trying to find new ways to tell stories,
new ways to be a filmmaker.
In the hundred years since the technology has existed
the way we experience cinema hasn't changed.
This experiment is one of my first forays into what I call future film,
you won't see my path yet, neither can I,
but I feel it will be my El Dorado.
I am scouting along the arteries of lucid dreaming - it's a voyage of discovery.
When I get there I will have found you."