Dodo in the Room

Dodo in the Room was created as the graduation project in Design Investigations, University of Applied Arts Vienna.

Selected Exhibitions:
Angewandte Festival – Vienna
Global Grad Show – Dubai
AIL – Vienna
Center for Book Arts – New York
SULUV Gallery – Novi Sad

Featured in:
the Brooklyn Rail
Interspecies Library
Bristol Science Film Festival
Contemporary LYNX

Scientific Advisors:
Julia Bellmann – ARGE Papageinschutz
Hans-Martin Berg – NHM / Bird Collection
Tom Maloney – Revive&Restore
Ben Novak – Revive&Restore
Markus Schmidt – Biofaction
Constance Woodman

The use of new bio-technologies to bring back extinct species has been, and still is, a widely discussed topic. While science fiction has already over-worked this fantasy, it has become more than just fiction. Researchers are making more and more progress, especially in the first steps of de-extinction. However the steps after bringing back the extinct species are less explored, but equally important. Captive breeding and return to the wild are ideals of de-extinction but are there other possibilities which we have to consider, avoid or cherish?

Dodo in the Room explores what it means to bring an extinct species back through the lens of a companionship with an unextinct dodo. The aim of the project is to read the lines between utopias and dystopias and provoke a discussion about de-extinction by making the ongoing science tangible with a collection of design means. A fictional interview with the first Viennese Dodo owner, her companion dodo and other artifacts invite people into a world, where we co-live with unextinct species.

The process that led to Dodo in the Room was, on the one hand, a very participatory and, on the other, a very interdisciplinary practice.

It was full of experiments and confrontations with the public, from surveys in which people could “create” their own dodos to taking long subway rides to see how people would react to the project.

The project was also shaped through many interdisciplinary exchanges, such as hours-long video calls with experts from different fields, visiting local taxidermy studios, or spending time in a parrot shelter.