March Towards Extinction
Natural debris from Hurricane Irma, video projection
Justin Wood, originally from Florida, is now based in New York City as an artist who focuses his practice in the overlap of the digital and physical worlds. March Towards Extinction is inspired by the category 4 hurricane, Hurricane Irma, that hit Florida on September 10, 2017. Returning to Florida after having been evacuated, Wood was struck by the power of the storm and how completely it transformed his neighborhood. On this experience, and how it influenced his piece, he states:
Houses completely destroyed. Massive piles of wreckage and debris everywhere. I started transforming this ugly mess into monumental site specific works by video projection mapping various houses, boats, debris piles and trees. The project became a nightly routine and I started to sell prints of the photographs in an effort to raise money for the recovery. One thing that I learned was that the TV cameras and public attention fades rather quickly after an event like that while the communities affected will spend years recovering. This sculpture is built from the same debris and wreckage that I projected on in the Florida Keys and the video tells the story of my evacuation and recovery experience. The screens are based on storm and climate data, as well as Taíno mythologies about the origins of hurricanes. It is a document of the resilience I witnessed while participating in the recovery and it serves to highlight that the process is still ongoing for many residents and business owners in the Florida Keys.
School of Visual Arts, New York, NY