December 2018

Allora & Calzadilla + Ted Chiang: The Great Silence

In Search of a Recuperative Aesthetics

This video by artists Jennifer Allora and Guillermo Calzadilla in collaboration with science fiction writer Ted Chiang presents a letter to humanity narrated from the point of view of a group of Puerto Rican parrots that are facing extinction. The title and concept of the video is based on the Fermi Paradox, a meditation on two contradictory truths: that the idea that we represent the only intelligence in the universe is preposterous and that despite the increasing range of our extraterrestrial search, we have found only silence. The search for extraterrestrial life (represented in the video by the radio telescope at Arecibo Observatory) is juxtaposed with how little humans know about other species on the earth.

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