Not A Single Bone \ Nora Al-Badri and Jan Nikolai Nelles (2017)
The Tendaguru Formation in Tanzania are amongst the richest sites of late Jurassic fossils that have ever been found. A former German colony, the beds were also spaces of systematic excavations of dinosaurs bones during the colonial era. Today, 250 tons of these dinosaur bones are now stored and partly exhibited in the Natural History Museum in Berlin. Using the tools of natural history museums, as well as leaked data, artificial intelligence (AI), and 3D scanning, the artists used an AI to culturally ‘reimagine’ a Tendaguru dinosaur bone in the absence of the real artefact.
On display at Treak Cliff cavern, Not A Single Bone unpacked the hidden histories of extraction and extinction as a way to explore the shifting sands of cultural heritage, ownership, and digital reproduction. In an age characterised by an expanded institutionalisation brought about by data-driven technologies, Not A Single Bone asked us to question the fictions of authenticity told by Western Institutions and seeks to uncover alternative emancipatory narratives.