Sugar-Coated Extinction

Colby Blake

An actionable metaphor for the sixth extinction using taste and decision quotas.


This is Part II of Sugar-Coated Extinction, a project that uses food to symbolize the scale and significance of living in a mass extinction event. Part II includes six novel flavor sugar cubes to represent different forms of life in Madagascar, an island that formed in relative isolation and free of human activity for millennia. The sugar cubes are illuminated from below to show the swirls of color in each block, a metaphor for the mystery that still shrouds our understanding of the natural world and the mystery that we are destroying when we fail to consider the artistic balance of biodiversity. Small hammers labelled with different mechanisms of extinction (labels not seen in video) are available for a viewer to chose how they wish to contribute to anthropogenic extinction. This project is about changing perceptions about the concept of extinction in the viewers mind. The hope is that the next time the viewer is confronted with dense extinction data or trivial rallies to save cute animals, they can understand such in the context of mass extinction by accessing their memory of taste, action and decision.


Temporary Expert: Design + Science in the Anthropocene