These three mantis are in the process of dying. The first is a newly hatched ghost mantis which couldn't free itself of its birthing skin. As a result the mantis' exoskeleton hardened into a form which made it impossible for it to survive without outside care. It died a week a later. The second is a decapitated cone-head mantis. Smaller than an unusually aggressive female (this species usually can be kept communally) he was over powered and then partially eaten. His body continues to move as the part of the nervous system that controls the body is separate from the head. The final mantis is dying from what mantis keepers call black death. Lethargy has set in followed by diarrhea and vomiting of a black liquid; once these symptoms have appeared death is inescapable. Near the end, having lost all coordination, she fell from her perch and rests on her side.
These videos are installed on three walls of a square or rectangular room with the remaining side reserved for seating. An ambient wind as present with a low volume. The videos loops un-synced fading in and out each in a one minute duration.
This orchid mantis skin is mounted flat in acrylic. The skin to appears to be floating contrasting its flatness. The frame is lit internally causing the skin and bubbles to glow ethereally.
Burned onto the page a mantis' shadow stands.
When mankind finally leaves to explore the vastness of space we will likely only find the ruins of past civilizations. I hope that in these explorations we can find things like the preserved memories in Star Treks Inner Light. Similarly in the episode The Chase a truly fantastic idea is presented that if we or another race would find themselves alone that we would try in very cosmic sense to prevent such a thing from happening again. That is, prevent a species of people from finding themselves alone by seeding the galaxy with life that would grow similarly enough to one another to communicate.