Death, Redesigned

Here’s an excellent longform article by Jon Mooallem on an ambitious project seeking to redesign our responses to death: So much about death is agonizingly unknowable: When. Where. Lymphoma or lightning strike. But Bennett recognized there are still dimensions of the experience under our control. He started zeroing in on all the unspoken decisions around … Read moreDeath, Redesigned

Constellation Park: Columbia University’s DeathLab Imagines the Future of Cemeteries

Picture a gently glowing city of the dead suspended beneath the Manhattan Bridge … It’s a bold and beautiful vision, conjured by Columbia University’s DeathLab project which aims to find creative solutions to a very practical problem. Traditional cemeteries are running out of space; what will we do with our dead?

Remembering When Americans Picnicked in Cemeteries

This 2018 article from the Atlas Obscura recalls the bygone age when American cemeteries served as public parks as part of the rural cemetery movement. Echoing the Mexican Dia de Muertos tradition, the cemetery picnic fad continued into the 1920s, when cemetery managers began to ban the practice over concerns about boisterous behavior and littering. … Read moreRemembering When Americans Picnicked in Cemeteries

“Creating Countercultural Memento Mori”

In collaboration with the good people at Reimagine’s Life, Loss and Love Festival, I will be giving an illustrated Zoom presentation on this theme on the evening of May 6th. Here’s the presentation description: “Remember death and therefore seize the day!” It’s an ancient and profoundly simple philosophy, but how can members of the emerging … Read more“Creating Countercultural Memento Mori”

Death, American Style

“On a deeper level, death is a rich metaphysical stew combining elements of philosophy, psychology, religion, anthropology, and sociology; its close relationship with theories about the afterlife makes the subject yet more intriguing.” Click here to read Dr. Lawrence R. Samuel’s short but insightful article on the past, present and near-future challenges of mortality in a … Read moreDeath, American Style

The New Danse Macabre: How and Why I Created a Death-Positive Performance for a 1998 Arts Festival

By Tony Wolf My background is in the entertainment industry as a choreographer and sometime-director, with an extracurricular “minor” in ritual. I’ve always been interested in the intersection of creativity, history and psychology, and in the ways those disciplines play out in public celebrations. I was also deeply dissatisfied with the mainstream modern, Western approaches … Read moreThe New Danse Macabre: How and Why I Created a Death-Positive Performance for a 1998 Arts Festival