Next of Kin

Next of Kin is a collaborative installation with Christina Seely in the Harvard Museum of Natural History that evokes a sense of empathy with our “next of kin” in the animal world—particularly those that have already gone extinct or are threatened with extinction right now.  We live in a time when an alarming number of species are going extinct in a world increasingly impacted by the exploding human population.  How do we fully understand such an overwhelming topic?  Perhaps an emotional understanding of the issue is just as crucial as the facts.  But how do we arrive at that?  How do we feel connected? 


The Next of Kin installation consisted of the following elements:  Seely’s Next of Kin Portraits and Species Impact Dauguerrotypes, sculptural displays of specimens related to extinct or threatened species that Seely and Sayler/Morris selected from the collections at Harvard’s Museum of Comparative Zoology and for which they designed unique environments highlighting the specimen’s emotional value and presence rather than its exact informational value, sound design by Seely and Sayler/Morris and Matthew Patterson Curry, and one Sayler/Morris photograph of a to-scale version of Noah’s Ark.