Created by award-winning filmmaker Bryan Little, The Endemic Project is a series of creatures, seemingly painted with light, that appear as you drive along Rhodes Drive from the Kirstenbosch bottom main entrance towards Constantia Nek circle.
If you download the geo-tagged soundtrack, as you drive past each creature, you trigger a soundscape made from its voice.
“Endemic species are found nowhere else in the world, so each creature you see is unique to the Western Cape and the fynbos floral kingdom, from the Geometric Tortoise to the Orange-Breasted Sunbird to the Ghost Frog,” says Bryan.
From Bryan Little’s The Endemic Project
“However, none of them are found along Rhodes Drive any more. They could still exist in the area if the alien trees they are nailed to weren’t there. It’s an interesting frontline between comfort and conservation, indicative of a global struggle.”
Bryan made the creatures with reflector tape. “I love that it requires light to work, and also that it’s normally used as a warning signal. Our natural heritage is our most valuable resource, so we need to start listening to the warning signs.
“NASA had the same challenges as these modern heroes – the conservationists. How do you get people excited about something as abstract as space? Their solution was to strap a human into a rocket and shoot him into space. Pretty out there, but add a human element and suddenly the public are fascinated. Sadly for many people, the natural world and species extinction is also an abstract thing, so for this project I wanted to turn people’s cars into spaceships to take them on a journey to explore their back garden.”
The soundtrack, arranged by Sylvan Aztok, is available from https://voicemap.me/endemic. Voice Map is a locally-designed, location-aware technology for telling stories about places.
Bryan came up with the idea after a dinner conversation with legendary film director Peter Greenaway. “In the last 100 years, the way we experience cinema hasn’t changed. This experiment is one of my first forays into what I call ‘future film,’ where I am trying to find new ways to tell stories, new ways to be a filmmaker. I deliberately kept it very simple and only played with certain elements. Remove the camera – place the audience into the experience. Make it site specific – you have to be there. Let the car’s motion be the element of time and narrative.”
The installation is best experienced at night, driving 50km/hour. For best results, use headphones and a hands-free kit, or if sharing the experience, play through the car sound system, using Bluetooth or your auxiliary cable.
Watch and embed the making of at https://vimeo.com/127006805
For more information, visit https://www.facebook.com/
theEndemicProject or join the conversation on social media using #endemicproject.
See more of Bryan’s work at http://www.flyonthewall.co.za/
Listen to more of Sylvan’s music at http://www.sylvanaztok.com/.
What people are saying on Facebook:
“Totally, utterly inspired by this work… It’s like being in a fantasy world, yet realising at the same time that it’s our real world. I was almost breathless driving along Rhodes Drive the other night… Brought back feelings of anticipation and excitement that I have not had since I was a child. Thank you, thank you, thank you for this outstanding installation. I cannot put words to the gratitude I feel.”
“I saw this for the first time last night. My heart just opened. Felt like I was in a magic kingdom. Really reminded me to show reverence for the small creatures that make our lives so very beautiful. Well done on a magnificent project!”
“Isn’t it magical to drive through and see this amazing project along the road? I was like WOW the 1st time I saw this and felt like Alice in Wonderland. What a beautiful project!! Thank you for your magic touch Hopefully this would lead to many more projects like this one.”
“It’s an absolute treat to see your exquisite project! Just wonderful for the kiddies also.”
“What a stunning project in terms of innovation, design and sheer brilliance. Hats off to the whole team!”
Mimi Ho Eddi
“May I say thank you once again for always putting a smile in my heart every time I do that drive?”
Susan Fern Kievits
“Love it – makes the drive such a pleasure!”
“Fantastic project. An even more beautiful drive every day.”
“Look for the designs every time I drive home. Fabulous project.”