Extinction Claims

By Paolo Cirio

17 Oct 2021
30 Nov 2021

The conceptual artist, Paolo Cirio created an algorithm that computes data of over 40,000 endangered species with data on fossil fuel emissions from major oil, gas, and carbon companies to calculate a justified financial compensation to the species. Cirio composed the web-based artwork Extinction-Claims.com with aggregated datasets of endangered species and invites the public to participate in their protection.


Extinction Claims exhibition - Inhuman Carnaval at Dutch Design Week 2021 Photo taken by Anisa Xhomaqi at Natlab during Inhuman Carnaval at Dutch Design Week 2021 Anisa Xhomaqi

With: Paolo Cirio

The online platform automatically generates financial claims for each species as the “plaintiff” to be indemnified financially and proposes that the companies issuing the greatest harm be held accountable in court for their environmental crimes that are causing the current mass extinction. In this project, Cirio explores the legal concepts of environmental personhood, attribution science, and existence value.

He investigated recent cases of climate change litigations; particularly data on emissions from the fossil fuel industries. Cirio’s biological research allowed him to aggregate data of several species to create a new conceptualization of climate justice, in which the devastated natural world is able to claim financial reparations from the top Carbon Majors that contribute to over 70% of the climate crisis. 

Extinction Claims is a co-production between Baltan Laboratories in Eindhoven and Mediamatic.