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Installation Overview

Vanish is a partnership between Erik Jacobs and Joel Sartore/The Photo Ark. The Photo Ark consists of vivid photos and video of over 10,000 species of animals.  Not just animals in the wild.  Rather, lions and wolves, mice and beetles taken in a studio - photographed on clean backdrops and controlled lighting - so that every unique detail is honored.  Every animal, no matter how meek or mighty, is given equal attention, as each is equally valuable in the function of a healthy ecosystem.

To bring these beautiful creatures to life we’re turning this body of work into a living, breathing, interactive installation. To illustrate their ephemeral and endangered lives, we are using state-of-the-art, cinema-grade technology to project them onto vanishing clouds of fog.  As the fog fills the installation space, the animals will appear – haunting, mysterious and undeniably present.  Then, as winds change and people interact with the “screen” the fog will dissipate and the animals will disappear.  

Stage lighting, sound effects and set design will be used to heighten the feeling of conflict between natural and man-made environments.


Whether on a local, regional, or planetary scale, Earth’s vanishing biodiversity is an undeniable cause for concern.  We hope to confront people with the immediacy of this threat and show them what we stand to lose if we don’t act now. 

“An ark is, above all, a vessel to save flesh-and-blood creatures. This one is constructed to lift many from obscurity and rescue many more from indifference.” – Joel Sartore/National Geographic

The good news is that there is still time, and this project seeks to inform people what we can do to save these unique creatures — and ultimately, ourselves.

About the Artists

Erik Jacobs is a visual storyteller dedicated to producing compelling messages in any medium (photos, videos, well-grown food...) with a particular yen for work that connects us to each other and deepens our connection to the natural environment.  

He believes that creativity can give elegant, human and delightful answers to the most complex problems in the world. 

Joel Sartore is an award-winning photographer, speaker, author, conservationist, and the 2018 National Geographic Explorer of the Year. He is a regular contributor to National Geographic Magazine, and an Eagle Scout. His hallmarks are a sense of humor and a Midwestern work ethic.