Debbie Symons is a Melbourne-based multi-disciplinary artist who completed her PhD Anthropocentrism, Endangered Species and the Environmental Dilemma at Monash University in 2013.
Symons’ works interrogate the inextricable links between environmental degradation and free-market capitalism. She appropriates mass media communication vehicles including animated maps and stock market boards to track annual developments, and visualises environmental research on threatened animal and plant species. Symons collaborates with scientific organisations such as the IUCN Red List, who provide the statistical data pertaining to her works.
Symons has been shown internationally and nationally, including at Urban Screen Association, Streaming Museum (New York), PRODROMUS Paris, MARS gallery, Craft Victoria, Linden New Art, RMIT Gallery and the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia. She recently completed the inaugural City of Melbourne Carlton Connect residency as part of the CLIMARTE Art+Climate=Change 2015 festival, and exhibited in ARTCOP21 in Paris, New York and Melbourne.
‘Counting One to Four: Nature Morte’
2015. Single channel video, 6:52 minutes.
Debbie Symons’ work Counting One to Four visualises the projected effects of the Earth’s predicted future warming upon species and remaining wild environments. By referencing the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) 2014 business as usual RCP 8.5 model, the work can move beyond a simplistic representation of ‘damaged nature’ to a multifaceted analysis of cause and effect. The work projects that up to 52 per cent of all terrestrial mammals, reptiles, marine species, amphibians and insects will be extinct by 2100.
Conceptually, Counting One to Four aims to sensitise a desensitised society by recapturing the peer-reviewed data and forcing it back into the public sphere, to create an analysis of the projected consequences of our immediate future.