Perpetual Amazonia (MLC Plot 00,0061 | S12 48 21.6 W71 24 17.6)
Lucy + Jorge Orta, 2011
- Ref: 5515.61-66
- Materials: Lambda photographs backed on Dibon. Edition of seven.
- Dimensions: Box framed 63 x 63 x 4 cm each
- Courtesy: Courtesy of the Artists
- Concept: The photographs Perpetual Amazonia - are key artworks in the series Amazonia. They represent a one-hectare plot of the rainforest in the Manu Biosphere Reserve at GPS coordinates S12 48 21.6 W71 24 17.6, a UNESCO World Heritage site.
The one-hectare plot was mapped out by Lucy + Jorge Orta together with scientists from the Environmental Change Institute at Oxford University during an expedition the Peruvian Amazon in 2009. It was then divided into 10,000 sub plots using the Universal Transverse Mercator (UTM) method of identification.
The stunning images are enlarged details of miniscule plant species photographed by the artists in the Amazon and during their travels all over the world. They allow us to reflect on the hidden beauty and diversity of our natural world but at the same time they are directly linked to rainforest conservation through scientific research being conducted on the plot of rainforest.
Each photograph is marked in the left-hand corner with the UTM coordinates of its exact location in the Amazon rainforest - a single square metre within the hectare plot. On acquiring a photograph the collector will receive a certificate of moral ownership of the exact square metre and will agree to contribute to the rainforest research programmes. The aim of this ecological motivated project is to preserve the hectare of rainforest for perpetuity and that it will be dedicated to scientific research for the benefits we all receive from long-term forest conservation.
“Perpetual Amazonia can help us understand the need to conserve forests and wildlife all over the world. As one of the lungs of the planet, forests help us to breathe.” Lucy Orta
“Today, conservation efforts are increasingly guided by the value of nature in ways that can be understood by economists, politicians and financial markets – as another way to counteract the accelerated destruction of biodiversity. This means placing a monetary value, thereby a tradable value, on public goods services that our natural environment provides, such as clean air, fresh water, fertile soil, drought and flood prevention, resistance to erosion, provision of nursery grounds and so on. This language of economic currency, advocating the monitoring of nature and ecological modernisation, may be another way to prevent the increasing rate of the depreciation of our natural assets or indeed the rapid rate of extinction of species across the globe. Moreover, the relationship between biodiversity loss, climate change and sustainable development for people needs to be transformed into a financial mechanism towards preserving ecosystems. Environment and economy have become intrinsically linked. The Amazon region is also regarded as a potential tipping point – where systems may collapse. This would have a major impact not only locally, but also on a much wider area, because of the forest’s influence on regional and global climates. Our understanding of nature needs to be global; no environment can be seen in isolation. The Amazon region may be many travel hours away from Europe but our influence on climates and biodiversity starts in our daily lives in the consumer choices we make.” Bergit Arends, curator of contemporary art at the Natural History Museum London