GAIA THEORY

Gaia theory was developed by chemist James Locklove and microbiologist Lynn Margulis in the 1970’s. Named after the primordial goddess of Greek mythology, the theory assert that “all life and all the material parts of the Earth’s surface make up a single system, a kind of mega–organism, and a living planet”. Humans are making this "organism" sick. One person doesn’t seem to cause harm but add 7 billion people, human desire and a clamoring for the convenient and we have a world in ecological crisis.

I use art as a venue to tease out our connections to nature and prod the gray areas of language and thought. I use circuitry to expose limitation and show life as sacred and technology as a false substitution for its magic. We are at the point where not only are we losing the worlds magic through species degradation, but we are losing our habitats and destroying the places we human animals live. We cannot divorce ourself from nature. We are a part of its magic and technology has the potential to dim that magic. We created technology and can never go back, so it must be harnessed in innovative and sustainable ways to take the pressure of humanity off of our planet.

In this exhibition I am imagining a world where we replace the magic of nature with the seduction of technology. In a brutal and beautiful series of sculptures, nature becomes a puppet and technology its puppeteer. As an artist I use the materials that speak to our reality. Technology is our reality and it will not be silent in the battle for our future. The planets health affects everyone and it is our duty to find a better way so that all can live a better quality of life. It is a crime when demand for clean water, air, and land are met with denial, gaslighting, bad policy, racism and deliberate unconcern. It is the duty of every human being to fight for a better world. Otherwise whats the point? Why are we here if to not try to make things better?

 

Please leave this planet better than you found it.

PAINTED TURTLE

chrysemys picta bellii

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The turtle is a symbol of patience, determination, and wisdom. In this sculpture the turtle represents the earth and its enduring struggle to hold the weight of humanity. As it holds the world it begins to break, shift and transform into something synthetic. As the 3D print begins to replace the bone, so does nature begin to shift out of wilderness and into an unrecognizable tangle of synthetic and organic.

hypophthalmichthys molitrix

SILVER CARP

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In the 1970’s Asian carp were brought into the US to help reduce waste in retention ponds and aquaculture facilities. Due to flooding, these species escaped into the Missouri ecosystem, embedding themselves into local waters. Because of their high reproduction rates, these fish often outcompete native species for food. The species displayed above can jump up to ten feet out of the water when startled. 

MUCKET

actinonaias ligamentina

One of the most prevalent species of mussels found in Missouri is the Mucket. These large mussels were once heavily sourced in Missouri to make buttons in the early 1900’s. As with other species of mussels, these animals are great indicators of good water health. They are usually found in shallow waters, buried beneath the mud and detritus of the water’s floor. 

BUTTERFLIES

Butterflies are threatened by destructive human activity. Climate change, pesticides, monoculture, and loss of habitat threaten these beautiful insects. Most value butterflies for their beauty and whimsy. But the butterfly plays an important role in balancing the ecosystem. They are major pollinators in agriculture and an important food source for bats and birds. Without butterflies there would be no apples, coffee or chocolate.

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actinonaias ligamentina

MUCKET

Over 60 species of freshwater mussels can be found in Missouri waters. Mussels act as water purifiers and help increase water quality and chemistry. They filter feed by inhaling water through two openings that extract oxygen and send food particles like bacteria, algae, and plankton to the stomach. Mussels come in a wide variety of colors, shapes and sizes; and some can live over 100 years.

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MUSEUM COLLECTION

These 3D prints were sourced from digital collections from museums across the globe. With the advent and ease of 3D printing and scanning techniques, many museums began to digitize their collections. The following models were downloaded from open access files from various museums.

Special Thanks to these humans : John Baltrushunas + Scott Angus + Jack Bray.

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"You cannot get through a single day without having an impact on the world around you. What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make." 

- Jane Goodall

© 2020 LILLI KAYES