Julian Oliver og Crystelle Vu: Extinction Gong

Location In the foyer of the town hall, Østergade 11

Sound from a traditional ‘Chao Gong’

The artists Crystelle Vu and Julian Oliver have co-created the work The Extinction Gong. Taking the form of a large traditional ‘Chao Gong’ its rear-face is fitted with a mechanism that beats to the rhythm of species extinction, estimated by eminent biologist E.O. Wilson to be about 27000 losses a year, or once every 19 minutes.

Seen at its front, the Extinction Gong hangs in a large metal frame and bears the stark neo-primitivist image of the Extinction Symbol, the official mark of the Sixth Mass Extinction. Seen from the back however it is a work of engineering, complete with mallet, electro-magnet, audio transducer, embedded computer and 3g downlink. This diametric expresses a brutal and contradicting irony – while advances in science and technology augment the devastating impact of human endeavours over wild habitats, so are they our best means of studying and understanding it.

About the artist

Crystelle Vu is a French artist and event organiser, solely focused on the great environmental and societal challenges of our time. If we weren’t facing an ecological collapse, she would have loved to complete her psychology degree, become a musician or a social psychology teacher and write a book, but time’s running out.

She dropped everything to join Extinction Rebellion in November 2018.

Julian Oliver is a New Zealander, Critical Engineer and artist based in Berlin. His work and lectures have been presented at many museums, galleries, international electronic-art events and conferences, including the Tate Modern, Transmediale, the Chaos Computer Congress, Ars Electronica, FILE and the Japan Media Arts Festival. Julian has received several awards, most notably the distinguished Golden Nica at Prix Ars Electronica 2011 for the project Newstweek (with Daniil Vasiliev). He is the co-author of the Critical Engineering Manifesto and co-founder of Crypto Party in Berlin, who’s shared studio Weise7 hosted the first three crypto-parties worldwide.

Julian has often donated his experience in the areas of counter-surveillance, operational-security and communications infrastructure to the support of activist initiatives, with a focus on environmental defense. Since November 2018 he has been particularly active in this capacity with the group Extinction Rebellion.

‘Extinction Gong’, 2019, Julian Oliver og Chriselle Vu. Photo: Mikkel Høgh Kaldal

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