Hazel Askew, of the folk-group Lady Maisery, on their song Order and Chaos: We have many traditional songs with religious perspectives on death or magical, folkloric perspectives on death, so I wondered if it would be possible to write a song with a scientific, physics perspective on death? Could this be a branch of the … Read moreLady Maisery’s “Order and Chaos” – a Scientific Folk Song About Death
A short item from the BBC on the Charitable Brotherhood of Saint-Eloi, founded as a response to the 12th century Black Death and still burying the residents of over thirty French municipalities, including the town of Béthune. During the French Revolution, the Brotherhood was officially dissolved, but continued its activity in secret until 1802, where … Read moreFrance’s Ancient Burial Brotherhood
Glenn Paton’s 2015 short subject dramatizes the notion of the Euthanasia Coaster, first posited by designer Juljionas Urbonas in 2010. Here’s Urbonas explaining the ethos behind his concept of euphoric, ritual suicide-by-machine:
The 1973 movie Soylent Green posits a catastrophically polluted and over-populated future society in which suicide is not only legal but encouraged and facilitated by the state. In the New York City of 2022 (according to this fictional timeline), there exist institutions where people can end their lives peacefully and beautifully. In the full context … Read moreThe Thanatorium in “Soylent Green”
I have a soft spot for the tradition of Danse Macabre enactments as part of the Renaissance Faire circuit’s grassroots, DIY amusement park vibe. Rather like the modern, American take on the Day of the Dead, that tradition stretches back to the counterculture of 1970s California. The original “Bones Band” was founded by an artist/musician … Read moreThe Renaissance Faire Danse Macabre
Here’s a report by Freethink on London’s Death Incubator, a thanatopositive project combining psychotherapy, exposure therapy and virtual reality simulation. The point is made that the VR simulation can’t possibly represent an “accurate” afterlife experience; that it is inspired by religious traditions and near-death experiences, serving as part of a program primarily intended to encourage … Read moreThe Death Incubator (London, UK)
In 1985, Italian artist Alberto Burri commenced work on the massive Grande Cretto, a poured concrete sculpture memorializing the central Sicilian mountain town of Gibellina, which had been destroyed by a massive earthquake during the 1960s. The project was finally completed in 2015. The layout of the Grande Cretto mimics (and is built directly over) … Read moreMemorial Land Art: Alberto Burri’s “Grande Cretto”
You can learn more about Designboom’s international Design for Death competition here.
Tara Isabella Burton’s 2018 article for Vox examines the development of funeral and memorial practices in the secular sphere: Zuckerman posits that among the people he’s interviewed for his book research, the desire to have a secular funeral isn’t just about not wanting to affirm the existence of a God or an afterlife that the … Read more“What Does Dying — and Mourning — Look Like in a Secular Age?”
Currently exhibiting at the Cube Design Museum in Kerkrade, Holland, (Re)design Death showcases fifty cutting-edge designs on the themes of Preparation, Saying Goodbye, Mourning and Living On and Eternal Life.