FISSION/FUSION is an animated pixel art diptych honoring coyote fission-fusion adaptation in the face of persecution and eradication efforts, a resilience strategy that mirrors our very own human survival patterns.
FISSION/FUSION was part of the Hard G Project and was mounted near the Esmeralda slides in Bernal Hill in September 2018. It also appeared with the Hard G Project in the Art + Code showcase at XOXO 2018.
Many thanks to Dan Flores’ book Coyote America, which explores, in addition to the unique adaptation techniques of the coyote, the environmental impacts and sociopolitical parallels of an animal that has survived and thrived beyond expectations, in the face of extreme hatred and extirpation measures.
One of the many functions of coyotes' howls is providing census data to coyote populations. When numbers appear low and fragmented, the coyote's biological response is to produce litters 2-3 times larger than usual.
Coyotes have the rare ability to function both in large packs and in solitary pairs, a skill that humans have also evolved. Harassment triggers coyotes to scatter and migrate widely across the landscape and recover their numbers in new and unfamiliar areas that they are able to rapidly adapt within.