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AnimalitiesLiterary and Cultural Studies Beyond the Human$
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Michael Lundblad

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9781474400022

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474400022.001.0001

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Each Time Unique: The Poetics of Extinction

Each Time Unique: The Poetics of Extinction

(p.22) Chapter 1 Each Time Unique: The Poetics of Extinction

Cary Wolfe

Edinburgh University Press

Wolfe’s chapter takes up the question of species extinction in relation to a particular example, that of the Passenger Pigeon. Focusing primarily upon an art installation titled “Requiem: Ectopistes Migratorius” by Michael Pestel, Wolfe explores the poetics of extinction that are exemplified in the various elements of Pestel’s work, as well as related issues, from the technology and mass killings that led to the extinction of the species to the present discussion of “de-extinction” projects stemming from revived DNA. Installations such as Pestel’s help us to recognize species as “spaces” rather than codes or scripts, in which systems and environments—like the performances and performativity within the installation itself—continue to evolve and change.

Keywords:   species, extinction, passenger pigeon, systems theory, performativity, Michael Pestel

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