Ida/ Darwinius Masillae
it is speculated that IDA died from poison in a gaseous surface, seeking water, and was
weakened by overwhelming of carbon dioxide. she collapsed, becoming closeted away, curled
into a position of paleontological repose.
Ida is a symbol of our ancestry as humans. a disconnect between Darwin’s theory of evolution
and religious belief is revealed by Ida existing as a one off. it’s a unique offspring that has no
known lineage connecting to Homo sapiens, except clear lines that suggest connections; an
opposable thumb, the talus bone in the foot that allowed it to stand erect. the 47 million year old
fossil might have been a parallel evolution or completely unrelated. the unclarity, and mystery
was the seed to create a new connection. the idea of this fossil was to act as a reinforcing agent
to personally bridge this gap in lineage.
the aluminum tray mirrors Ida’s position and slowly rotates over the circular surface. aluminum, a
conductor of electricity, is used to excite and activate the place that Ida laid. the fossil is driving,
moving in a super slow state, carrying an electrical current representing the compression of the
the performer is represented as the fossil on a sacrificial platter. the rotation happens on a
circular surface of high-density polyethylene (plastic). the HDPE (oil) is a manufactured oil
product; a gaseous cloudy surface used to make cutting boards.
the HDPE gradually begins to take on it’s own history as it is delivered, assembled, and shown. it
does not stay pristine, getting scarred and scuffed. it shows the passing of time by
displaying/revealing marks on its surface. such marks hint at what has affected IDA’s
environment. the routine scarring reflects those many unseen things that have touched the fossil
as IDA rotted and sank into the earth.
rotating counterclockwise, backwards in time
fossil identification (trapped in a pocket of gas, and slowly sinking into the earth)
rotation power: head / brain / the physical and emotional driving force of all mystery behind this
after this slow crescendo tray powered experience…the performer shed the molt. ( phenolic
insulating resin and terry cloth suit ) the phenolic resin relates to power, (insulating spirit as to
insulate conductivity…protection) representing the passage of time and pressure into the earth.
the terrycloth represented the rotting of flesh from the fossil, wicked perspiration from the
performer. the piece became “carbonized”. the space the performance fulfilled was replaced with
an unreachable intangible point of view inaccessible to the viewer. the projection as an
anomaly, an emotion, something that can’t quite be described. barely moving, quiet and
unworldly, spinning. it’s either coming or going, and piercing the room with a ghostly presence. a
visitor, temporary. light of time. a remembrance of the past. unknown.