Photos by Richard Stoker, Carl Hansen
“On Midway Atoll, a remote cluster of islands more than 2000 miles from the nearest continent, the detritus of our mass consumption surfaces in an astonishing place: inside the stomachs of thousands of dead baby albatrosses. For me, kneeling over their carcasses is like looking into a macabre mirror. These birds reflect back an appallingly emblematic result of the collective trance of our consumerism and runaway industrial growth. Like the albatross, we first-world humans find ourselves lacking the ability to discern anymore what is nourishing from what is toxic to our lives and our spirits. Choked to death on our waste, the mythical albatross calls upon us to recognize that our greatest challenge lies not out there, but in here.” ~ chris jordan, Seattle, February 2011
“I show the images of Albatross from Midway Island not to say that the plastic they ate killed them, as there are conflicting reports as to whether that is true or not. I show them to demonstrate the degree to which plastic is so entrenched in such deep reaches of our environments, in places that are fundamentally required for the survival of life as we know it on this planet for plants, animals and humans. It is a statement of the incredible impacts of human consumption to find plastic in the bellies of birds in such a remote and isolated area of the Pacific Ocean. Out of sight out of mind. Ignorance is bliss. It is a slow and quiet catastrophe. One that we are potentially too deep in toto escape.” Sarah Joy Stoker
The worth of (2014)
Created and performed by Sarah Joy Stoker
Sound composition and live performance - Lori Clarke
Light design - Robert Gauthier
Photography - Sarah Joy Stoker
Video - Sarah Joy Stoker, Phil Winters, Pat Dempsey, Robert Gauthier
30 minute duet/performance with Lori Clarke
I feel as though I essentially make the same piece over and over again. They come out differently and I hope have different impacts, however all at their core are about our planet and what we have done and continue to do to it.
Like the piece I made 15 years ago (they cut down tress, and Rocks On, made 10 years ago) The worth of, cries out for a deeper connection to the world that supports us and is an expression of mourning and loss in the face of such an aggressive economically driven world, one that seemingly has no sense of the value of our natural world.
Oct. 2014, Festival of New Dance, LSPU Hall, St. John’s,
Sept. 2015, The Future of Nature conference, Grenfell Theatre, Corner Brook, NL
Oct. 2015, Self-production, LSPU Hall, St. John’s
The creation of The worth of was funded by the Newfoundland and Labrador Arts Council, the City of St. John’s and Neighbourhood Dance Works – Technical Residence program.
The presentation of this work in October, 2015 was funded by the Canada Council for the Arts, the City of St. John’s and Neighbourhood Dance Works.
The images of Midway Island birds and Marine plastics are presented with the permission of the artists, Chris Jordan.