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A Catalogue of Extinct Experience: Renewing Our Disappearing Connections to Nature

Nominated by the TerraPass. team

Our experiences shape our consciousness: who we are, who we become, the choices we make about how we spend our lives. But our range of experiences — from drinking from a clean, clear Sierra stream to beholding a star-filled night sky — is diminishing. With the disappearance of unmediated experiences in nature, the opportunity to know what it means to be human in the world is compromised and our awareness of the fundamental truth of the interdependent and interconnnected nature of our existence becomes more and more attenuated. This obscured perception has personal, social and global consequences.

Through all manner of artistic expression — painting, video, music, sculpture, etc, the collaborative installation, A Catalog of Extinct Experience, will evoke the experience of that connected whole. We will engage all of the senses to awaken people to the wonder of experiences gone and threatened, and the import of such loss. Our aim is neither nostalgia nor despondency, but rather to inspire awareness, wonder and gratitude for our remarkable world and to spark the recognition that our own best, creative, evolving selves grow out of and depend on preserving a diverse and evolving planet.

The website for the project is expanding and under development.

Chris Desser, the creator and founder of the project, has done at lot of work at the intersection of the environment, politics, and technology. She can be reached at

This piece is part of Worldchanging's Attention Philanthropy campaign. All week long, the Worldchanging Network will be delivering "attention grants" to worthy projects, individuals, resources and more. You can learn more about these gifts of notice and find other entries by clicking here.

Photo credit: Flickr/Nick Russill, Creative Commons License.

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