Press release and material on the Extinction Claims project
Press kit with images, texts, and videos of the Extinction Claims project.
Press Release – October 2021
The conceptual artist, Paolo Cirio created an algorithm that computes data of over 40,000 endangered species with data on fossil fuel emissions from major oil, gas, and coal companies to calculate a justified financial compensation to the species.
Cirio composed the web-based artwork Extinction-Claims.com with aggregated datasets of endangered species and invites the public to participate in their protection. The online platform automatically generates financial claims for each species as the “plaintiff” to be indemnified financially and proposes that the companies issuing the greatest harm be held accountable in court for their environmental crimes that are causing the current mass extinction.
In this project, Cirio explores the legal concepts of environmental personhood, attribution science, and existence value. He investigated recent cases of climate change litigations; particularly data on emissions from the fossil fuel industries. Cirio’s biological research allowed him to aggregate data of several species to create a new conceptualization of climate justice, in which the devastated natural world is able to claim financial reparations from the top Carbon Majors that contribute to over 70% of the climate crisis.
Read more about this project in the text Extinction Plaintiff and on Cirio’s new large body of work Climate Tribunal addressing the economic, legal and geopolitical implications of climate justice.
Our planet now faces a global extinction crisis never witnessed by humankind. Scientists predict that more than 1 million species are on track for extinction in the upcoming decades. The database of species in danger of extinction composed by Cirio contains over 40,000 records and 20,000 images of animals, insects, plants, and ecosystems with their names, classes, and status, including additional information provided from the IUCN Red List, an international union dedicated to wildlife conservation, aggregated with data from Wikidata and iNaturalist. The imagery composed by Cirio is used to campaign for improved legal rights, funding, and policies that will help protect the growing list of endangered species and advocates for the conservation of biodiversity worldwide.
For the Dutch Design Week in Eindhoven, Netherlands, the project will also take form with an interactive installation of printed images of the species displayed on the walls accompanied by data regarding their financial claim for compensation toward protection from extinction.
The Extinction Claims peoject is created by the artist and activist Paolo Cirio and it is a co-production between the art institutions Baltan Laboratories in Eindhoven and MediaMatic in Amsterdam.