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The Persistence of Life

The Persistence of Life

The Persistence of Life

I started to make a book based on the great mass extinctions in the history of the Earth.  I decided on the format of a “border book” so that the tale of the extinctions is described on small pages in the centre, but the structure then opens up into a big picture, which shows the wheel of Evolution and our tiny place in the taxonomy of life.  

The images are manipulated from photographs taken at the volcanic geysers and sink holes in Yellowstone National Park although the colours there are so vivid I didn’t need to change those at all.  

I wondered for a long time how to give this book space to move, and decided on a box that is constructed so that the lid has a representation of fault lines which is made by cutting and separately covering the board with bookcloth of two colours. 

The Persistence of Life is due to DNA, which has come through every living thing on Earth from a Last Universal Common Ancestor (LUCA).  With luck, it will persist despite our worst endeavours.

The border book folds away into a simple container to await our successors and tell them the story of what went wrong.

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  • Containing box

    Board cut to represent a riven surface covered with bookcloth

  • Inner box and note

  • Border book folded into container

  • Border book in its “normal book” format

  • Border half open inside box

  • The border fully open

  • Reverse of book

A note to whoever/whatever succeeds humanity on Planet Earth