Maya Lin Asks 'What is Missing'? - Oceana USA
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April 27, 2012

Maya Lin Asks ‘What is Missing’?

We got an email recently from artist Maya Lin about her new project, What is Missing, and it is spectacular. Maya created a monument to the disappearing creatures and places on our planet, and put it on the internet to grow and evolve.

Her project is a powerful interactive website that showcases the disappearing creatures and environments on our planet through a “Map of Memory.” The map is covered in tiny colorful dots, and each dot represents a creature or place in danger. Change the Timeline from past to present, and now each dot represents conservation efforts by many groups including Oceana. A new category, Future, is in the works.

I chose a spot in the ocean and found myself watching a video on right whales. While a whale song played from my speakers, the story was told on the screen in simple, powerful facts, keeping me on the edge of my seat as I watched the whales’ struggles from old-time whalers to modern-day warfare testing. A shorter video on krill was surprisingly fascinating, with facts about their weight (less than a paperclip!) interspersed with the sad reality of how many animals will starve if we overfish them.

Other dots on the map contain simple facts or memories about the creatures highlighted, and you can even add your own memories to the map. You could spend hours on this site exploring the videos and memories of our world.

We applaud Maya Lin for this beautiful and powerful website, and can’t wait to see what it turns into as the stories grow and change.