This video work accompanies a visual essay titled ‘Avian Climate Messengers’ which Timo Rissanen and I created for the Climate Domesday project in 2022. It is part of our ongoing Precarious Birds project, through which we experiment with ways to address biodiversity loss/threats through our creative practice.

The visual essay and video work were commissioned by Philip Ely, for the ‘Climate Domesday Book’: a speculative design project that explores contemporary questions related to the climate emergency. The book is a hybrid print-digital device designed by researchers in Australian and the UK, which uses a magic bookmark to read pages and trigger (via Bluetooth) an interaction: the playing of a video or audio on a nearby large screen. Our contribution explores ways to affectively communicate biodiversity loss in the Sixth Extinction through creative practice, particularly through visual metaphor and synecdoche. In this case, we focus on the Black-Throated Finch as a modern day canary in (Adani’s) coal mine.

The work – both visual essay and video – was exhibited as part of the Energaia: Imagining Energy Futures exhibition curated by Stuart Bender and Rachel Robertson at John Curtain Gallery, Western Australia.

A page of our visual essay in the Climate Domesday book, with the video work activated in the background.