61 Mortal Decisions (2010)
raven skull; two-year-old fir seedling
Fir rounds, 17 ceramic birds, rubber innertubing,
61 mason jars containing artifacts.
Entire room installation: 19’ x 22’ x 16.’
OK Hotel Gallery, Seattle, WA. 2010.
This installation, 61 Mortal Decisions, examines the complexity of the poignant choices facing us, summoning us to reconsider our casual relationship to our mortal existence. We are mortal; we obsess about that truth, and deny it, simultaneously.
Our lives weave a chaotic web of critical interconnections: the multitudes of tiny decisions that might accumulate into an environmental disaster, or not. Chaos theory meets consumerist capitalism. Within the gallery walls, we discover an allegory of a decimated rainforest, with 61 sealed jars containing artifacts. Each jar documents a moment of decision, a negligible choice with unimagined consequences, a residue removed from it's context.
"61" refers to a study by arboreal ecologist Dr. Nalini Nadkarni, in which she and her graduate students surveyed the trees on Earth, and as of New Year’s morning 2008, counted 61 trees per person on this planet. How many are enough? No one knows; it is a gambling game we play with our planet.