EMMILY O’CONNOR


On Obliteration

On Obliteration functions as a physical metaphor for the vast and devastating
loss of animal life underway via anthropogenic climate change, driven primarily by human selfishness and greed. In order to proceed through the work, the viewer is forced to turn pages—thus the desire to turn a page manifests as irreparable damage to a once-harmonious environment. By the end, when all pages have been turned, the work is forever changed for the worse by human hands.

Darwin’s On The Origin of Species, is the primary reference invoked in the piece’s form—even in its mimicry of 19th century typesetting sensibilities— contrasting the slow process of evolution with the current rapid decline of life due to climate change. A single color, gold, is used throughout the work, alluding to greed as a vehicle for our current dilemma.

On Obliteration measures 8.25” x 12.5” when open. The book was produced through a mixture of hand- and machine printing: pages intended for tearing were printed in reverse through a laser printer, then transferred with acetone to hand-torn printmaking paper. These and other folios were then bound via hardcover bookbinding techniques.