The Ouroboros, a snake or dragon in the act of swallowing its own tail, has appeared throughout history as a symbol of life and death's infinite renewal of one another. This decade, the Ouroboros has been used to personify the tendencies of crucial Earth System feedback loops that scientists are warning will not be able to be stopped by humans once they are activated. For instance, Ice Albedo Feedback is a process that shows that as Arctic sea ice melts, more seawater becomes exposed. As seawater absorbs more heat from the sun, the surface temperature effectively increases and causes more ice to melt. The positive feedback loop has begun: ice melt begets ice melt until no ice remains. Something equally as dramatic as man-made climate change can shift the feedback into reverse. Perhaps another asteroid strike?
In consideration of these implications, I began considering Ouroboros as real objects by sourcing dead snake specimens and jarring them in alcohol. Had I stumbled upon the perfect replacement pet? An animal form made of flesh and blood with low maintenance. The Ouroboros never needs to be fed as its natural and inevitable death-drive takes care of this itself. Aside from the necessary renewal of the jar’s preservative fluids every few decades, it also never needs to be paid any attention since it is always dead. As an art object, it can cost as much as a Koons dog vase or a real purebred dog. Additionally, it will exist as itself in perpetuity, unlike real dogs which die and turn to dust.