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Extinction Study, Documented: Martha, Human Consumption

Green A Studios

Common lore regarding the passenger pigeon holds that passenger pigeons were once so numerous they would block out the sun for hours as they flew overhead. As urbanization accelerated due to the industrial revolution, the passenger pigeon was hunted privately and commercially as a cheap food source until reduction in flock size caused a population collapse. In 1914 Martha, the last passenger pigeon on the planet, died at the Cincinnati Zoo. The National Museum of Natural History holds Martha's skeletal remains in its collection. Green A Studios has used a 3D scan of Martha's skull to create hundreds of replicas cast in bronze. The skulls are hung from the ceiling clumping, dispersing, and undulating as a flock of passenger pigeons might have at the turn of the 20th century. The piece serves as a shrine to the passenger pigeon, a memento mori for the thousands of creatures racing toward extinction today, and evidence of human actions having a dramatic effect on the world around us.

Entry Details
  • Art form: 3-D
  • Depth: variable
  • Medium: Bronze, string
  • Width: variable
  • Year created: 2017
  • Height: variable

About Green A Studios

Christyn Overstake and Robin Baker are a husband and wife team collaborating on a series of sculptures about biodiversity, despeciation and human civilization's contributions to population decline and extinction. Both are working educators and sculptors specializing in metal fabrication, casting, and digital fabrication technology.