We created this video as a proposal for a site-specific installation at Times Square. We continue to imagine how powerful it could be: tens of thousands of visitors look up towards looming billboard advertisements, momentarily replaced by images that offer a virtual experience of being deep under the ocean and meeting charismatic dolphins eye to eye, in their world.
Multiple views splash across many screens simultaneously, giving a sense of the disorientation of being underwater. Human and dolphin dancers dive and swirl with such synchrony and harmony, it becomes difficult to tell them apart. In the final portraits of the dolphins’ faces, it is hard not to see as much individuality, emotion and personality as in a human face. As they disappear one by one, the answer to the question “Will you miss me when I’m gone?” is clear.
Fortunately, the dolphins with whom we work are not in danger of extinction, although they are threatened directly and indirectly by human activities. Many other species, including the Hector and Vaquita dolphins, are close to extinction. Their ocean homes are at risk, getting warmer and more acidic, filling up with plastic and other pollutants, becoming depleted of fish and other marine life – this is a threat to all species on the planet, including our own.
The new year traditionally begins with the ball dropping in Times Square. This year, we can imagine charismatic dolphin faces appearing across the bright-as-day billboards. How might that change our resolutions? The more we cherish our deep and timeless connection to the ocean and to the other creatures with whom we share the planet, the more committed we will be to discovering and doing whatever is required to make sure that their faces do not disappear.