My next Concepting project is for the Center for Biological Diversity. I am advertising to ask for support in their work to protect endangered species. I’ve been told that the roughs I’ve put up in class for this subject have been too “frightening” and “urgent” and that I should tone it down. How can I make any less urgent the fact that every 20 minutes a species goes extinct? or the fact that if one species goes extinct it affects the entire ecosystem and can have grave effects on the other species that share its ecosystem. I don’t understand how to tone it down. I see it like this: each ecosystem is like a machine, with cogs and wheels and screws and levers. Each species is one piece of the whole machine. In this case, contrary to the popular phrase, the whole is not greater than the sum of its parts. Instead, the sum of the parts is greater than the whole. With one cog or lever missing, the machine can still function, but not to its full capacity. I can’t think of a way to depict this philosophy without the problem seeming eminent.
Next idea: Flip it around. What if humans were going extinct? Like what if every 20 minutes a race of humans disappeared into oblivion? Nope. Too “frightening”, not to mention that there are only a handful of human “species”, we’d be gone completely in no time.
All I can really think of is depicting the effects of an animal becoming extinct. What would they leave behind? We as humans dream of leaving a legacy behind, the hope that our life would have had a big impact on someone or something, making our life meaningful and worthwhile. But what does the animal leave behind? Their bones? Their name in the science books? Most people don’t even know that a species has gone extinct. Most don’t know that the species even existed in the first place.