Why Don’t the Frogs Sing Anymore?

Why Don’t the Frogs Sing Anymore?

by Allison Maria Rodriguez
Installation, 2017

Project Description

Inspired by and created in four days at the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, Why Don’t the Frogs Sing Anymore? is a continuation of Rodriguez’s work on climate change, species extinction and political agency. In many ways, the disappearance of amphibians is a harbinger of the destructive impact of climate change. Traditionally evolutionarily resilient, amphibians are currently experiencing the largest declines in populations and individual species extinction of any vertebra worldwide; they symbolize a critical loss of biodiversity. The title phrase “Why Don’t the Frogs Sing Anymore?” is inspired by Elizabeth Kolbert’s description of the rapid disappearance of the Panamanian Golden Frog, once a common sight and a symbol of good luck, in her book The Sixth Extinction. The phrase is spelled out via individual bottles and installed in various outdoor public sites. Inside each bottle is a small tag with the name of a different species or subspecies of extinct frog. Each bottle serves as a memorial to both an individual type of frog and to a lost fragment of the larger whole of our existence.

There is also an interactive component in that the viewer is invited to take a tag from a small bowl placed alongside the bottles. Each tag bears the name of a unique extinct frog and the encouragement to “google a frog”.

Why Don’t the Frogs Sing Anymore?
documentation from “Space Invaders: International Juried Exhibition”
Fountain Street Gallery in SoWa Boston, 2018

Special Thanks

Rodriguez was able to attend the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown (FAWC) due to the generosity of a 2017 Archie D. and Bertha H. Walker Scholarship. She created Why Don’t the Frog’s Sing Anymore? in an installation workshop entitled “Word & Place” taught by Lauren Ewing.