Extinction Book

urbanautica

Human destruction of the living world is causing a “frightening” number of plant and animal extinctions, according to a growing number of scientists, studies, publications, and reports. In the last century, the awareness that human activities are harmful to the environment, to life in general, including that of humans has increased. Wars, climate change, diseases, pollution, technological escalation, deforestation are just some of the threats that challenge the survival of the species.

30 photographers selected by Urbanautica Institute.

More on: http://www.urbanautica.com

extinction

the world without us

thomas gauthier

davide galandini

rosie barnes

adam reynolds

gaëtan chevrier

pietro motisi

Cristian Ordóñez

francesco merlini

alessio pellicoro

shanna merolA

gian marco sanna

daniel kariko

MICHELE VITTORI

GEORG KATSTALLER

SÉBASTIEN ARRIGHI

MADELiNE CASS

NICOLA AVANZINELLI

Leslie Hakim-Dowek

HANS WILSCHUT

FLEUR JAKOBS

ROBERTO VITO D’AMICO

Charles BouchaïB

ANDREA BUZZICHELLI

STEFANIA ORFANIDOU

STEVE DAVIS

ELBA COLLECTIVE

LORENZO LEONE

SARA NICOMEDI

DAWN ROE

GIOVANNI PRESUTTI


“Prometheus’s triumph has been all too overwhelming.”

– Günther Anders, On Promethean Shame



thomas gauthier

davide galandini

rosie barnes

adam reynolds

gaëtan chevrier

pietro motisi

Cristian Ordóñez

francesco merlini

alessio pellicoro

shanna merolA

gian marco sanna

daniel kariko

MICHELE VITTORI

GEORG KATSTALLER

SÉBASTIEN ARRIGHI

MADELINE CASS

NICOLA AVANZINELLI

Leslie Hakim-Dowek

HANS WILSCHUT

FLEUR JAKOBS

ROBERTO VITO D’AMICO

Charles BouchaïB

ANDREA BUZZICHELLI

STEFANIA ORFANIDOU

STEVE DAVIS

ELBA COLLECTIVE

LORENZO LEONE

SARA NICOMEDI

DAWN ROE

GIOVANNI PRESUTTI

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04

A few months ago, I went for several days in the Jura region in France.

Having brought with me Heartbeat of Wounded Knee, a book by David

Treuer addressing the theme of the Native Americans, I then began to think

of these people. While walking in the mountains, I had this strange feeling

that the Native Americans were hidden in these mountains and could arise

from nowhere. That I could find traces of their passages. By the biggest

coincidence, my camera started to make images with a strange rendering.

The idea then came to me to work on a series addressing the notion of

the dream. This series is visual poetry, a photographic and contemplative

narration including autobiographical elements. It does not address a subject

in the classical sense of the term. I put in pictures my feelings. In this work I

approach the notions of place and time. Timelessness is a key element of the

series. Getting lost in time and space is a feeling that I appreciate. The series

sails between dream and reality. The real is the raw material with which I create

a mystery. I mix everyday banality with intriguing images to build a personal

work that gives the viewer the freedom to make their own opinion. I approach

the theme of extinction with the notion of the imaginary since the Native

Americans peoples have not disappeared.

Seules les étoiles resteront

THOMAS GAUTHIER

gauthierphotographie.com









12

Vinewood Project is laboratory of research on our perception of landscape and

it aims to narrow the existing gap between what is real and what is distorted

mythology in the eye of the reader. A visual tool which arises as a necessary

reaction to the catastrophe which characterizes the geography of everyday,

winking in its olderly geometry, even when it is exploited and poisoned. Soil

consumption, mining industry, intensive and monocratic agricolture; this sort

of white noise spreads unabated forever changing our relationship with nature

and environment. Therefore change the way of seeing the world through a daily

practice of research and artistic intervention.

Vinewood

DAVIDE GALANDINI

davidegalandini.it









20

I began this work over 20 years ago whilst studying at the University of

Brighton. The work examines - using everyday, commonly seen examples -

the idea of human ascendancy over the natural world – our need to manage,

control and contain it. I have continued to add to the project. I originally called

the series ‘Human Nature’ and thought of it as ‘a ‘tragi-comedic’ study of our

relationship with the natural world’. However, as the evidence mounts and

with it our increased understanding of what is happening to the planet and our

impact upon it, has made me see it as something much darker. And it feels

more relevant than ever. Eco-anxiety is a recognised and increasingly common

condition. The existential fear of climate breakdown and our own mortality -

the end of the world, the world that we have created. And as the evidence is

laid bare, it is a very uncomfortable realisation. We can stuff a dead animal, put

it in a box, we can build dams, we can use nature as camouflage. But we have

exploited and abused it for our own convenience, sanitizing, packaging and

perfecting it to our needs and desires. These everyday details remind us, as we

stare out over the precipice with an increasing sense of unease and fear, that

we’ve overlooked the natural balance of things, the natural order. We’re not in

control at all. We’ve been kidding ourselves all along.

A Peculiar Convenience

ROSIE BARNES

rosiebarnes.com









28

At the height of the Cold War, the United States deployed thousands of

Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles (ICBM) in a network of underground

complexes across the American landscape. These nuclear weapons made up

one part of America’s vast deterrent force as it faced off against its ideological

rival, the Soviet Union, until its collapse in 1992. And as the Cold War itself has

faded from memory, so too have the lessons and fears these weapons once

elicited in the general public. Yet the issue of unchecked nuclear proliferation

has returned that fear to the forefront.

With much of America’s Cold War-era nuclear arsenal deactivated and

dismantled today, there are a growing number of former missile sites whose

mission is to preserve the history and memory of the period. These frozen

time capsules are open to the public, catering to an array of nostalgic “nuclear

tourists.” As “Shrines to an Armageddon”, they preserve the dramatic vestiges

of a power that can destroy the world. The sites stand sentinel as potent

reminders of American military might, but also serve as a cautionary tale for

future generations. Two such sites, the Minuteman Missile National Historic

Site in South Dakota and the Titan Missile Museum in Arizona, are the only

remaining ICBM sites in the United States that not only allow visitors into

the underground launch control center, but also to come face to face with a

(nonfunctioning) intercontinental ballistic missile as well.

The project’s title refers to the Air Force’s mandatory two-person buddy

system in place at all ICBM sites. This applied both to the on-duty officers on

24-hour alert in the launch control center and to the work crews tasked with

maintaining the missiles. The policy was intended as a safety precaution and

as a safeguard against potential sabotage. The images pair America’s most

prolific ICBM (the Minuteman II) with its most powerful (the Titan II) and offer a

calculated look at the nuts and bolts of Mutually Assured Destruction, the mad

logic behind nuclear deterrence.

No Lone Zone

ADAM REYNOLDS

adamreynoldsphotography.com









36

The Earth is this anthropized planet we share and whose future livability we

must ensure. The rise of so-called natural disasters, hurricanes, cyclones,

tsunamis, earthquakes, remind us of the vulnerability of inhabited spaces,

and of the interdependence of human and non-human beings living there.

Therefore planetary urbanization choices are paramout. Decisions to build in

the most fragile areas - behind dikes, below sea level, on geological faults -

which are most often destroyed, remind us of the limits of the act of building.

And these decisions are those that will or will not impact our relationships

with the built environment.In this regard, we note today the recurrent choice

to focus on improving techniques and engineering to protect ourselves from

this planet, rather than to evolve towards strategies for a dwelling that has

been conceived as fragile. Hong Kong tells us one of those stories of conquest.

The British colonists who approached the shores of this coast described a

bare rock with steep slopes. This mythical story is well known, it is the story

of the one who arrives and “discovers” a land without history, that “gives

itself” to colonization. The fact remains that British colonization is sporadic,

there are only a few buildings on the hills and along the shores. An image that

is totally obsolete today for those who know Hong Kong, like many, from its

stereotypical image of gigantic towers in front of steep mountains, covered

with dense forests. Hong Kong intrigues architects and urban planners with

the huge contradictions that shape the experience of this city. The incessant

artificial embankments are carried out at the same time as the sanctuary of

hectares of nature, in the same remoteness of this environment. The obligation

to build high, due to constraints of available surface and in order to appear as

a world-class metropolis, creates a singular urban experience, exotic for the

Western pedestrian: that of the vertical street. The ultra-density of the city is

denounced as an example of unsustainable development yet is also valued as

a laboratory of the extreme compactness of the living space. But the recent

movements of demand from civil society for participation in the definition of

major projects are the main driving force for change in the future of the city.

(text : Anne Bossé / architect, doctor of geography, researcher of CRENAU.)

À l’origine

Gaëtan Chevrier

gaetanchevrier.com









44

The photographs in this body of work titled Sicilia Fantasma, which literally

means “Ghost Sicily” represents a collection of personal visions about Sicily,

gathered between 2012 and 2018. In an attempt to represent the Land through

a series of landscapes, the desire is to generate a relationship between the

observer and the represented spaces which stimulates a delving beyond the

surface of the ‘scape’. In this way establishing a critical point of reflection on

who we are in relation to the characteristics of our spaces and our time. The

critique is expressed as a dialectical knot, rather than an assumption; elements

of concern more than a complaint, useful to gather questions and political

thoughts. As David Goldblatt said, «Events in themselves are not so much

interesting to me as the conditions that led to the events», in that way this work

represents something like a mirror, which reflects on belonging to a land - an

exercise in reading space and that which occurs in it, to better understand and

reposition our actions, feelings, relationships and responsibilities toward the

land, so ourselves.

Sicilia Fantasma

PIETRO MOTISI

pietromotisi.it









52

Into the wind, the wild and beyond. Following nature, light, and traces.

An ongoing body of work created while following the traditional road-trip

experience through the American Landscape. Understanding a landscape

in flux, the traces humans leave behind, the way mankind has shaped the

land and how nature takes over the complex situations our species produce.

Curious of the transitional reality of current times, the risks of the environment,

and the rise and fall of the human condition. This work does not focus

primarily on a political environmental view of the land, but it rather studies the

perception of the vast scenery, emptiness, history, peripheries and apparent

relationship with the land that surrounded us throughout the journey.

We are constantly on trial

Cristian Ordóñez

cristianordonez.com









60

The Flood

FRANCESCO MERLINI

Late on 13 June 2015 heavy rainfalls hit Tbilisi and the nearby areas. When

people woke up in the morning 19 people would be dead, many families made

homeless, a zoo destroyed and a city in shock. A landslide was released above

the village of Akhaldaba, about 20 km southwest of Tbilisi. The landslide,

carrying 1 million m3 of land, mud, and trees, moved down into Tbilisi and

dammed up the Vere river at two points, first at a 10m wide channel at

Tamarashvili Street and then at a channel under Heroes’s Square, a major

traffic hub. The resulting flood inflicted severe damage especially on the Tbilisi

Zoo; The city briefly became a wilderness full of dangerous beasts. The zoo

lost more than 300 animals, nearly half of its inhabitants: the majority were

killed by flooding. Several surviving inhabitants of the zoo—a hippopotamus,

big cats, wolves, bears, and hyenas—escaped from destroyed pens and cages

to the streets of Tbilisi and a police unit was employed to round them up. Some

were killed, others were recaptured and brought back to the zoo. The media

ran footage showing the hippopotamus making its way to flooded Heroes’

Square, one of Tbilisi’s major roadway hubs, where it was subdued with a

tranquilizer dart. On 17 June a white tiger remaining on the loose attacked

and mortally wounded a man in a storehouse near the zoo. The animal was

eventually shot dead by the police. An African penguin was found at the Red

Bridge border crossing with Azerbaijan, having swum some 60 km south from

Tbilisi. Many Georgians condemned the foreign media’s focus on the zoo and

their indifference to the stories of the human victims. Catholicos Patriarch Ilia

II, an influential head of the Georgian Orthodox Church, in his Sunday sermon,

blamed the floods on the ’sin’ of the former Communist regime which, he said,

built the zoo in its current location using the money raised from destroying

churches and melting down their bells. The causes of such a disaster, more

realistically, can be found in the lack of water holding capacity along the rivers

course due to deforestation, Soviet-era infrastructure, poor maintenance, weak

planning controls and extensive and often illegal development that impacted

the riverbed. This project brought me to photograph the zoo and the animals

that survived, the place where the new park will be built, the valley where Vere

river flows, the spot where the landslide originated and some of the places

where the topic of old infrastructures and of illegal residential development are

more evident. Even if some years have passed and most of the consequences

of the flood are no more visible, I have come across landscapes that suggest

that some kind of catastrophe has just happened. Consequently I decided to

create a narration that blends together a documentary account of the tragedy’s

aftermath and a visual reflection on the present Georgian panorama.

francescomerlini.com









68

A project that aims to examine those so-called microworlds born on the

margins of a very complex urban system and which, over time, have assumed

the unlikely forms of autonomous reality and detached from the central

city pole, Taranto. Marginal peripheral districts (such as ‘Paolo VI, Tamburi,

Salinella’) which constitute the ‘internal suburbs’ and which are distributed

as ‘urban filaments’ in industrial areas. A landscape contaminated by the

processes of industrial expansion, as well as urban/residential of a popular

type... A clear example of Shrinking City, a city in serious demographic

contraction: a phenomenon that initially spread in the United States and

caused by the sudden conversion of the ‘industrial’ reality to ‘post-industrial’

(examples are Saint Louis in Missouri; Youngstown, Cincinnati, Cleveland and

Toledo in Ohio; Pittsburg in Pennsylvania; Detroit in Michigan). The case of

Taranto appears as a wrong total systemic conversion that has not yet fully

occurred due to the various industrial realities present, active and inactive,

which have always represented an ecological threat to the landscape and

above all to the quality of life of the inhabitant forced to live too close to them.

The other Red Desert,

a place of ‘Microworlds’

ALESSIO PELLICORO

instagram.com/a_pellicoro









76

The images in We All Live Downwind are culled from daily headlines –

inspired by both global and grassroots struggles against the forces of

privatization in the face of disaster capitalism. In The Shock Doctrine, Naomi

Klein writes about the free market driven exploitation of disaster-shocked

people and countries saying, “the original disaster—the coup, the terrorist

attack, the market meltdown, the war, the tsunami, the hurricane — puts the

entire population into a state of collective shock”. The scenes in We All Live

Downwind, have been carved out of dystopian landscapes in the aftermath of

these events. On the surface, rubble hints at layers of oil and shale, cracked

and bubbling from the earth below. Rising from another mound, rows of empty

mobile homes bake beneath the summer sun. The bust of small towns left dry

in the aftermath of supply and demand. In this place, only fragments of people

remain, their mechanical gestures left tending to the chaos on auto. Reduced

to survival, their struggle against an increasingly hostile environment goes

unnoticed. Beyond the upheaval of production a bending highway promises

never ending expansion - and that low rumble you hear to the west is getting

louder.

We All Live Downwind

Shanna Merola

shannamerola.virb.com









84

The Malagrotta Dump is the main long-term storage site for undifferentiated

urban solid waste from the city of Rome. It is located in the western suburbs

of the city, in the estate of Malagrotta. The name derives from the Latin Mola

Rupta (“broken wheel”), a name originated by a broken grinding wheel on the

nearby stream Rio Galeria. According to some, the largest landfill in Europe.

240 hectares, between 4500 and 5000 tons of waste were dumped every day.

In 2013, Italy was denounced at the European Court of Justice by the European

Environment Committee as part of the waste discharged at the landfill did not

undergo the biological treatment (MBT) required by the European regulations

to reduce the volumetric consistency of waste, and facilitate their possible

recovery. On January 9, 2014, the NOE (ecological department of carabinieri),

commanded by Sergio De Caprio, known as “Ultimo” (“The Last”), stops 7

people. Among others the owner of the dump Manlio Cerroni, know as “Re

della monnezza” (“the king of garbage”) and the former president of the Lazio

region Bruno Landi.

Since its closure the situation has not improved. Abandoned waste of all kinds

are still visible in the areas surrounding the landfill. Malagrotta is black water

flows, worn tires, rubbles, abandoned cars, dead palms, ashes. A wounded

ground. In the night the air is filled with a thick cloud of smoke and stench. It’s

the city of snow.

Malagrotta

GIAN MARCO SANNA

gianmarcosanna.com









92

This long-term project is an investigation of our relationship to our surrounding

landscape through micro images of locally found insects and other arthropods.

My images utilize the combination of Scanning Electron Microscope and

optical Stereo Microscope, in order to achieve a “portrait”-like effect inspired

by the tradition of 17th Century Dutch Masters. Most of the species of

insects are likely to disappear before they are even discovered and described

by entomologists. Our planet is a home for to an estimated five, perhaps

ten million different kinds of insects, not including other arthropods. Most

scientists agree that there are more undiscovered species than identified ones

so far. It is estimated that they represent 80 percent of all the species in the

world. And yet, in spite of their numbers and variety, they are vanishing at an

alarming rate. From newsworthy bee colony collapses to recent noticeable

absence of dead insects on our windshields, some species fell by 75% to

90% in the last 20 years. As they are not charismatic megafauna, theirs is a

silent extinction. An elimination from the natural record that is invisible to an

average person, and caused by habitat loss, pesticides, herbicides, and climate

change. These little (and sometimes not so little) invaders are natural product

of our own occupation of their habitat. As we keep expanding our subdivisions

to the outskirts of towns, we inhabit recently altered environments. This

anthropomorphic presentation of our closest, often invisible, co-habitants in a

humorous, quasi-scientific way, is an invitation to consider the evidence of the

human impact on the landscape as we constantly redraw boundaries between

us and the natural environment.

Suburban Symbiosis

Silent Extinction

DANIEL KARIKO

danielkariko.com









100

In the contemporary world, the imbalances in the relationship between

man and Nature are beginning to have devastating effects. In wildness

is the salvation of the world, wrote H.D. Thoreau, there is, therefore, an

urgent need to rediscover a new ecological consciousness in response to

the anthropocentric vision that has designed modernity. The series, still in

progress, is a personal visual diary of a “traversing” of the central Italian

Apennines between the territories of Umbria, Abruzzo, Lazio, and Marche.

Walking and crossing territories as a method to regain the true meaning of

nature, and to rethink man and the environment as a single complex organism.

Walking

MICHELE VITTORI

michelevittori.com









108

Mount Igman, near Sarajevo, was one of the sports venues in the Winter

Olympics ’84 in Ex-Yugoslavia. Eight years later, it became a deadly war zone

during the siege of Sarajevo (1992-1996). It seems, as strange as it sounds, that

war and the Olympic games have something in common. Partially because war

creates a sense of unity in the face of a collective threat. Just like the Olympic

games, it binds people together – not just the army engaged in battle, but the

whole community. However, games do not contribute to humans extinction,

wars do. Athletes from different parts of the world arrived at the Olympic

hotel on the mount, Igman, to participate in peaceful competition. Eight years

later soldiers were hiding in its ruins, searching for cover from artillery shells.

Mount Igman symbolizes a fragile line between war and peace. The fact that

so many societies all over the world fail to stop repeating history, by continuing

to engage in massive violent conflicts, shows us that mankind lives in a loop it

can’t escape.

‘84

Georg Katstaller

georgkatstaller.com









116

Shivers is a series of landscape fragments that deal with scenes and objects

captured in the truth of their apparitions. National Park, wasteland, rare

specimens, and details representative of the synthetic reality that emanates

from many occupied territories. This familiarity reveals here a few traces,

shocks, sounds and expenditure of energy that have charged the texture of the

landscape, as would the shiver do, passing through once body in the dark.

Shivers

SÉBASTIEN ARRIGHI

sebastienarrighi.com









124

How lonely, to be a marsh

MADELINE CASS

Salt is in our blood. Fundamental to human life, for millennia we have sought

out salt. One of the most endangered ecosystems on the Great Plains are

1,000 acres of inland saline wetland made from Mesozoic-era salt deposits

in southeastern Nebraska (in the midwest of the United States). The water

there is nearly as salty as the ocean. The wetlands once numbered between

16,000 and 60,000 acres (it seems to be debated) – but now they have almost

completely been erased. As the city of Lincoln expands, the threats to wildlife

and wetlands multiply. Much of this habitat has been degraded or destroyed

by drainage from surrounding farms, and the growth of the city. Many of

the acres of marsh have been turned into landfills and car lots, and housing

developments - houses that are sitting seemingly empty and unsold. Few

people among the local population seem to be aware of the wetlands, and

even fewer have visited them, despite existing a just few miles from downtown

Lincoln. Their biological importance is often overlooked and ignored by the

historically agricultural community. The abundant mud flats of the saline

wetlands are rich with a variety of wildlife. It’s common to see a pair of

nesting bald eagles, a coyote or red foxes. It is more difficult to spot the Salt

Creek tiger beetle - a critically endangered subspecies that is endemic to

the wetlands. The beetle is considered a bio-indicator species, its presence

signaling the existence of a healthy saline wetland. This body of work is a

personification of place, an emotional reverie on a salt marsh near Lincoln,

Nebraska. It is an attempt to engender an elusive place not readily known – at

once both heartfelt and heartbroken. how lonely to be a marsh consists of

original poetry and photography, including botanical and zoological specimens,

and early 1900s glass plate photographs and journal excerpts by pioneering

prairie ecologist Frank Shoemaker (1875–1948). He is the namesake for the

main section of the saline wetlands in Lancaster County – Frank Shoemaker

Marsh. This ecological story, like so many others, is one of destruction,

exploitation, and misunderstanding. Cass’ work calls to mind an issue that is

not just about the salt marshes or wildlife but how people in the Midwest and

the rest of America view the role of protecting irreplaceable land. Protections

for endangered species as a whole are being weakened by the Trump

administration. Additionally, a recently proposed development nearby would

almost certainly spell disaster for the tiger beetle and many other species. If

we are to save critical habitat, it must be placed in a new context, one in which

our awareness of it and relationship to it is based on the personal and poetic

rather than the profitable & recreational.

madelinecass.com









132

Imagine to take your subconscious and immerse it under the water. Suspend

your breath. Suspend the wind. This is where my mind goes when I see

Avanzinelli’s work. - Federica Chiocchetti, Photocaptionist - After graduating

from the Academy of Fine Arts in Carrara in 2006, I currently live and work in

Paris. My research explores the emergence of an apnoeic subconscious within

memory in everyday life and how it relates with momentary lapses of intimacy.

I work with images and texts through a non-linear and fragmented sequence of

visual excerpts from daily life. Like a short-circuit they navigate my mind along

an unintended path, often producing dystopian associations. I am interested

in how collective and personal memory co-exist within an individual’s mind,

at times peacefully blending, at others fighting. The theme of your open call

prompted me to question the position and role of the artist in relation to what

we tend to call ‘world’. What is the role of the artist when the ‘world’ is facing

such an urgent issue and it appears already too late to invert our descent into

the ‘eco-inferno’? Questioning the hopelessness of art in changing dangerous

tendencies or raising awareness is what preoccupies me. There seems to

be a paradox between human extinction and the yearning to document it.

Document it for whom if there is no future? It is for me also a story of the

extinction of human effort to avoid the end. We could call it ‘collective suicide’.

The precipice The instant right before was clear and all hopes were dashed.

The thud and the gray deafened the air. It’s the time when the light disappears.

Everyone was aware. The breath started to decompose.

The precipice

NICOLA AVANZINELLI

instagram.com/nicola.avanzinelli









140

Twilight island is a poetic contemplation of a time spent on a volcanic island.

This book resonates with a subtext of several themes and thresholds. A

succession of vistas from volcanic craters to desert plateaux is juxtaposed

with landmarks of memory and recreational spaces where spectacles are set

to unfold in a cycle of endless tourism. Sometimes the themes are polarised

such as the vast wilderness we live in and the coming of age of two girls, my

twin daughters; an earthly stage where generational rites and rituals have

come into being but to which, we remain largely oblivious.

In a culture terminally ill with amnesia, in which temporal boundaries have

weakened, an axis is drawn between the earthly transformations over millennia

which are laid bare on this island and our compulsive stream of capture. This

book is an attempt to provide a brief anchoring of an ever-transitory present

within the inherent silence and stillness of a photograph.

Twilight island

Leslie Hakim-Dowek

lesliehakimdowek.com









148

The World in One Place The area that is currently known as the Central

Business District has been the central area of Johannesburg nearly since

its inception. Its central location in the city as well as careful planning led to

it to be chosen as the best location for a mix of residential and commercial

development, especially during the economically prosperous 1960s and

1970s. Many large constructions were completed in this period, such as the

Carlton Centre, which is still the tallest building in Africa. Under the apartheid,

the Central Business District was classified as a whites-only area, meaning

that black people were only allowed to work and shop there, but could not

live there. It completely changed when the race segregation system ended

in 1990. In the post apartheid time the CBD became more accessible for non

white groups for both living and working. Unfortunately a crime wave swept

through the city and many businesses and people fled from areas such as

Braamfontein, Hillbrow, and Yeoville for more secured houses or offices in

the Northern Suburbs of Johannesburg. It was the start of the richest mile in

Africa, the city of Sandton. By the late 1990s, the Central Business District

became a no-go zone and a virtual ghost town. All its former glory was lost,

and the city was shattered by the loss of the Carlton Hotel. It was in 2008 when

I started to photograph the urban decay in the city of J’oburg and since then I

came back for substential working periods. Evicted buildings re-occupied by

illegal residents became the rotten teeth in the citylandscape. For more then

10 years I have been trying to understand such lack of human care that I saw in

these urban environments all over the city. 15 years of severe economical and

social problems such as poverty, housing, drugabuse and immigration had left

its marks on the health of Johannesburg. Gentrification slightly changed some

lower suburbs but the contrasts in the Central Business District only relocated.

To me the theme of human extinction is applicable the condition humaine of

Johannesburg.

The World In One Place

HANS WILSCHUT

hanswilschut.com









156

Having grown up with nature as a self-evident factor that was always present

in my life, I find it strange to notice that the meaning of the concept of nature

is changing. In our time, the most unthinkable problems can be tackled with

technology and science. But because we have these possibilities, we use it

to arrange our environment to our own taste. This of course also applies to

nature. The nature that we control and create no longer needs earth to survive,

just us. And the nature that’s out there, that does need soil to survive, is

limited by us because we keep on restricting the space it needs to grow. I

adopt the modern idea that everything is manufacturable. So I create my own

scientific experiments. In these experiments I emphasize on the aspects of

nature that we seemingly all want to get rid of: the imperfections. I take control

of specific pieces of nature and determine what happens to it. Self-invented

scientific experiments merge with the actual image of the treatment of nature

under artificial conditions. This might make it hard to distinguish between what

is being investigated in a laboratory and what is being done in my living room.

An investigation into our current view of nature: can you still speak of nature if

there is so much human influence?

Stripped of the earth

FLeUR JAKOBS

fleurjakobs.nl









164

Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) is the official name of the vehicles well known

as drones. Located in the south-east of Niscemi, a town of thirty thousand

inhabitants on the plateau between the Erei and Iblei mountains, near

Caltanissetta, the US military base for radio telecommunications Naval Radio

Transmitter Facility (NRTF) rises into the Sughereta Natural Reserve. Inside the

base has been recently activated the Mobile User Objective System (MUOS) a

system that interfaces with all the robotic military devices, including drones.

The electromagnetic field produced by the base is perceptible beyond a radius

of 100 km, and there are numerous scientific studies that are working on the

demonstration of the impact of electromagnetism on birdlife. In particular,

groups of Sicilian environmentalists are sure that the electromagnetic field

produced by the NRTF base as well as the MUOS are diverting the migratory

flow of birds, which have always flown over those areas of Sicily.

Unmanned Pigeons introduces itself into this relationship between

telecommunications military base, electromagnetic waves and bird migrations

with the aim of visualization of these invisible effects that the massive US

militarization in Sicily causes on birdlife.

Unmanned Pigeons

ROBERTO VITO D’AMICO

robertovitodamico.it









172

Before hydroelectricity development and tourism activities, Maurienne territories

have been exploited for a long time. Roads of the Mont-Cenis have crossed

the Alps since Hannibal times. Over the years, railroad pioneers experienced

different trails in the region. Today a new passage is being dug, and it testifies

both the completion of an old transport ambition, as much as, the emergence of

global needs in moving goods. The drilling of the Lyon-Turin tunnel crystallizes

the relationship with time disparities. A coveted time, whose incompressibility

tries to be abolished by an obstinate search for speed. This is a Trans-European

essential link whose legitimacy is also reprobated. As an ephemeral compromise

between anthropic interests and natural constraints, landscapes are also the

support of economic convulsions and contain evidence of past and future

threats. To what extent can we consider that technology makes the world

suitable to live in? Is there any disconnection between economic time and

natural human timeframe? What is the threshold making a resilient environment

permanently modified and hostile for humans? Without offering direct answers,

these issues are covered throughout this series. The image approaches vary

from poetic evocation to documentary investigation.

La Pennétrie

Charles BouchaïB

charlesbouchaib.com









180

Cecina is a small river. Nowadays it is threatened, as much of its lands, by

the ‘dominant steam’ strategy - the geothermal science. However, the river is

a source of life for many organisms that risk of being forgotten. This is why

Andrea Buzzichelli chose to illustrate the whole life cycle of frogs through his

pictures. Together with his two kids, he decided to picture their evolution, the

gradual opening of life, the wonder of a slow transformation from tadpoles to

small amphibians. His photos driven by the observation of nature reveal the

amazement for something universal. A quest that goes back to our own origins.

Fragile

ANDREA BUZZICHELLI

andreabuzzichelli.it









188

Cache in computing refers to the hardware or software component that

stores data so that future requests can be served faster. It is a place where

memory is kept well-hidden from the eye of the user, yet it is all the time

present and ready to be recalled. In this project, I delve into the state of semiconsciousness,

by examining those inexplicable fragments of memory that

emerge at unexpected moments, when for a split second the perception of the

present is getting lost. I collect these fragments, that linger in the in-between

of imagination and reality and I attempt to recompose them. The result could

be described as a ‘residual’ archive, the creation of a new memory in which

familiar images that were suppressed in the subconscious - either violently due

to trauma or just because they were considered of less importance - are being

recalled back. The process involves layered transitions of consciousness, with

the aim to reach the most inaccessible data of the mind, at the place where a

personal redemption might be hidden.

Cache

Stefania Orfanidou

stefaniaorfanidou.com









196

Beauty can lurk in strange places, and I find myself drawn to landscapes which

suggest ambiguity, emptiness, and the spiritually untidy. To me, they resonate

as backdrops to stories and dreams—vague suggestions of the earth as a

temporary gesture. They are as close to nowhere as I can get.

The Western Lands

SteVE DAVIS

davis.photo









204

What happens is that even building take a long winter’s nap (go on hibernation),

we are dealing with several towns which fall asleep for a considerable amount

of time waiting to be awakened by the arrival of the tourists, the firsts quieter

and most shy than the intrusive last ones.

A forced on and off extinction, which leaves entire buildings and structures

suspended in time and space, cyclically, year by year, up to becomes a routine,

made up of preservation rituals capable of making them unrecognizable when

compared to the high season set.

They are not abandoned but frozen, they are alive but moving extremely slowly,

the architectural casing finally appears as it had been originally designed, they

show up like two-dimensional sceneries due to the limitation of the human

being interaction.

We wanted to investigate this metamorphosis, which nothing can be done

except waiting in silence, so we just sat down in this great waiting room and

look. (Elba Collective: Elisa Florian + Barbara Modolo)

Frozen Rooms

Elba collective

elisaflorian.com









212

Thekla and Moriana are two of the cities described by Italo Calvino in ‘The

invisible cities’. The first one, a city in continuous construction, wrapped

in an uninterrupted scaffolding. The second one, a two-dimensional city

characterized by opposite faces, the first shining, presentable,’façade’;

the other, the reverse, hidden, abandoned by aesthetic care. This series of

photographs is intended to represent a hypothetical journey to these places

through some of their infinite possible representations through images. A

journey that can be undertaken with the meaning given by Marcel Proust in

‘Remembrance of Things Past’ according to which “The only true voyage of

discovery, the only fountain of Eternal Youth, would be not to visit strange

lands but to possess other eyes, to behold the universe through the eyes of

another, of a hundred others, to behold the hundred universes that each of

them beholds, that each of them is”. A journey that lends itself to two different

interpretations of time. An ‘evolutionary’ and progressive marked by the

appearance of nature until it prevails in parallel with the works of man. The

other, instead, is characterized by the circular time of an interrupted cycle of

construction, use, abandonment and reconstruction.

A journey to Thekla and Moriana

LORENZO LEONE

lorenzoleone.eu









220

We are currently experiencing the sixth mass extinction, two hundred species

disappear every day, the last United Nations summit on climate change stated

that we have eleven years left to avoid the catastrophe by keeping the global

temperature rise below 2 degrees.

Such awareness has led me to question my intention to become a mother

in the present historical context; through this project I analyze myself as

memories resurface and I reflect on the strength of life and on the deepest

sense of existence.

Extinction-isn’t a good title recounts three generations: that of my

grandmother, who lived in conjunction with what is considered to have marked

the beginning of the great acceleration of our era called the Anthropocene,

than that of my parents and down until today.

Through the use of representative images, self-portraits, documentary photos,

archives and collages, I analyze the relationship that exists between the past

and present, our actions today and their possible impact on future generations.

I aim to emphasize this is the time to rebuilt awareness on our actual needs,

what future we want on the Earth and how to act accordingly.

Can we transform the current climate and social crisis into something useful to

the restoration of empathy among human beings and hence allow ourselves to

evolve on a spiritual and emotional level?

Extinction-isn’t a good title

SARA NICOMEDI

saranicomediphotography.com









228

Conditions for an Unfinished Work

of Mourning: Wretched Yew

DAWN ROE

Conditions for an Unfinished Work of Mourning: Wretched Yew is the second

sequence of an ongoing series using the process of recording via photography,

film, video, and sound to draw upon the pathos embedded within sites of

sorrow and distress while revealing moments of resilience. This phase of the

project relates the taxus brevifolia genus of yew tree native to the Pacific

Northwest – known for its healing properties, and as a symbol of death and

regeneration – to my own experience in the region during a tumultuous time

when the pervasive sight of clear cut hillsides served as the visual backdrop

to personal struggles with addiction, depression, and loss. These adjacent

recollections led me to consider the cultural and ecological legacy of this

species as indicative of ongoing cycles of neglect. Though long revered by

indigenous cultures, the Pacific Yew was primarily disregarded by foresters of

the settler state as an insignificant understory component – both economically

and environmentally – until it was discovered to generate a plant alkaloid

highly effective as a chemotherapy drug. Though now synthetically produced,

a government contract with a global, pharmaceutical company resulted in the

decimation of much of the already sparse population of yew when harvesting

of its bark occurred in the 1990s. Yet, due to its indestructible nature and ability

to easily regenerate, isolated pockets of both old growth and more recently

sprouted Pacific Yew continue to thrive as vital components of the ecosystem.

During repeated trips to Oregon, a number of these trees were located. In

conjunction with video recording, sun exposed images of and around the

trunks, branches and leaves were produced over extended intervals. UVsensitive

contact printing processes were incorporated as a primary image

capture technique due to the prolonged exposure required by these methods.

The resulting imprints archive and represent duration in a manner distinct from

the moving image trace of the same instance, allowing for an examination

of the space between record and document, referencing the simultaneous

passage and persistence of time. As a straightforward yet precisely indexical

camera-less form of transcription, the use of the photogram also serves as

a deliberate nod to the DIY ethos of punk culture, connecting back to my

formative years in Portland and the musicians who are collaborating on the

soundtrack to the accompanying video work. Together, the individual project

components serve as collective acknowledgement of the unsettled grief that

permeates this mental and physical space, functioning as a set of discrete

elegies apprehending the residue of dormant trauma by making visible that

which endures.

dawnroe.com









228

The one represented in Hello Dolly is a near future in which humanity is lost and

all that remains is a frightening doll. It wanders in an apocalyptic scenario of

degradation and cement. The Earth is a pile of empty and abandoned buildings.

Dolly is the metaphysical protagonist inspired by the anthropomorphic

mannequins of Giorgio De Chirico.

Her body is an empty form without a soul, a case full of vaguely human images,

memories and sensations; an intellectual projection of man. Her anonymous

plastic shapes make humanity’s sense of bewilderment even stronger,

becoming a symbol of the consumerist era that has brought the world to its

knees, to its void.

Cinematic and literary suggestions are the basis of every image, in which the

strong reference to the sci-fi settings of Philip Dick and following dystopian

visions stand out. These are the symbols of consumerism. Stripped of their

function, they become totems worshiped by an inanimate doll, and showing a

cross-section of a future that is inexorably approaching.

Hello Dolly!

GIOVANNI PRESUTTI

giovannipresutti.com









extinction

the world without us

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