The unextinction machine

The unextinction machine works tirelessly to combat the extinction of many species of life on Earth, caused by habitat destruction, pollution and climate change. Megan McKenzie (then aged 11, now 15) had the idea that a machine, one that was kind of alive, and powered by creativity, could accelerate evolution and create lots of new species that would adapt to a more stressed environment. She worked with her dad, Brian McKenzie, to devise the machine and the many creatures it would produce. They drew the creatures collaboratively, drawing parts, then finishing off each others’ drawings. The wall painting was on show in summer 2011 in the Hill Station, a cafe and cultural centre run by and for the community, in Telegraph Hill, London.

This charity this is part of incubates several projects, including Common Growth, a community garden to develop skills in food growing, and the New Cross People’s Library. It promotes sustainable communities through food, connecting people and culture.

Together as a family, the McKenzies are continuing to do art projects to do with biodiversity, extinction and how we live in nature. This blog will give news on these projects.

Megan likes making art and doing drama more than anything else, and also likes animals. Her artwork is quite surreal, combining self-portraiture, dreams and fantasy creatures. Brian makes images using intaglio printmaking, drawing, ceramics, digital photography and found objects. His work often depicts humans in environments that are alien to their bodies, such as snowy terrain, underwater, or grappling with dangerous animals. He is a keen gardener, beekeeper, insect-watcher, skip-hunter, beachcomber and fruit scrumper.

4 thoughts on “The unextinction machine

  1. megan,

    I love it! is that a power chord coming out from the machine or is it a tail? if it’s a cord then what’s the power source?

    cheers from portland, or, usa.

  2. Hi. Yes it is a power chord. Well spotted by you. Behind the wall that the Machine is on is a lavatory and the power chord goes through the wall and into that zone. The power is generated both by the action of people flushing the toilet and its contents. Megan.

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