While browsing the IUCN Red List there was one trait in common with all 26,500 species that are threatened with extinction, their stressors are all human made.
The list of specific causes for a species population decline includes entries like:
Threatened due to logging. Threatened due to tourism. Threatened due to housing developments. Threatened due to hunting and trapping. Threatened due to anthropogenic climate change. Threatened due to military activity. Threatened due to industry. Threatened due to pollution.
Threatened due to humans being threatening.
It is hard to visualize all of these stressors and in reality when visiting habitats of at risk species the stressors often times are not visible. How do you see slow violence? I wanted to create a simplified visual language that speaks to the threats that the species face. I decided on using a black balloon, a quiet hyperobject. An object that both wastes a nonrenewable resource, helium, but then also scatters plastic waste by way of the wind which will then take years to break down with a high likelihood of being consumed by an organism causing immediate harm or long term health risk by introducing plastic into the food chain. Each species is represented by one ragdoll model, a stand-in being acted upon by hyperobject forms.