Lion’s Breath

Lion’s Breathe from xtine on Vimeo.

Lion’s Breath is a participatory, generative installation that amplifies the complicit role humans play in the sixth extinction. This immersive project reflects the role and impact of humankind on the loss of species in a global environment with reduced biodiversity. In the installation, we choreograph time to create an experience in which participants degrade an audio representation of the sixth extinction by contributing a single breath. The soundscape translates biodiversity to sonic variety—the taxonomy of animals is used to design musical structures that, with each breath, becomes sparser and more monotonous. It begins with a multilayered, wild orchestration of the lives of animals undergoing extinction. A part of the aural landscape is removed with each breath until the installation transforms to silence. Upon entrance, the projected image displays a blue sky with white clouds. Adding a breath to the installation animates a single-channel projected image to darken until the sky is black. In Lion’s Breath, breathing—essential for life, reduces the soundscape and fades the scene to black. Mass extinction requires no extraordinary activity on behalf of the individual. We present a poetic representation of human impact in a changing global landscape.