Natural History of the Sixth Extinction in Ann Hamilton’s the common SENSE

Ann Hamilton’s 2014 the common S E N S E presented an extensive collection of animal images and objects from the natural history and library collections of the University of Washington in a participatory installation that invited visitors to consider the impact of their own desires to consume non-human animals. Lily Woodruff analyzes Hamilton’s work in relation to early natural history museum ambitions and displays, and to the current mass extinction that is underway, and argues that Hamilton’s use of archival materials creates a mode of narrating history that responds to current feelings about threats to the future.