The Toxteth Day of the Dead

One of several distinctly English responses to the Dia de Muertos ethos – see also the Glastonbury Festival of Death and Dying – the Toxteth Day of the Dead is an initiative by musicians/culture jammers KLF (a.k.a. the Justified Ancients of Mu Mu, the JAMs and the Timelords, among others). Here’s a BBC audio documentary … Read moreThe Toxteth Day of the Dead

Mortem: an Online Residency for Thanatocurious Artists

Mortem is a two-week long, daily online artist residency arranged by Ayatana’s Biophilium: The virtual residency will involve daily live video lectures with international death care and funeral industry workers, historians, biologists and artists on a range of death related topics, one tethered international field trip in a graveyard near you and several short one … Read moreMortem: an Online Residency for Thanatocurious Artists

Deathskool (1976)

My Way of Life and Death draws significant inspiration from the mid-late 20th century American counterculture, which began and flowered (for most practical purposes) in Northern California. Above is a selection of joke courses “offered” by the Communiversity, an experimental San Franciscan free school. The “Deathskool” curriculum is a parody of the type of courses … Read moreDeathskool (1976)

“Carnival Cosmology” by Gary Warne (1977)

The world is a midway; cities are its sideshows. The only difference between children and adults is that there is no one to take care of us. When we left home it meant we were lost on the midway and, unlike God, the carny boss will only let us ride as long as we pay. … Read more“Carnival Cosmology” by Gary Warne (1977)

“How ghost stories helped me live my life to the fullest”

Erin Louis writes for OnlySky on the deeper and truer meaning of ghost stories: Ghosts meant that there was a chance that my grandmother would be waiting for me when I close my eyes for good. Maybe even the greatest cat that ever lived, my departed Charlie, would be waiting for me too. Shattering that … Read more“How ghost stories helped me live my life to the fullest”

“The Ghost Racket Crusade”

I was recently interviewed for the popular Criminal podcast on the shady business of the “ghost racket” – the early 20th century scam of using mind games and magic tricks to convince bereaved people that spiritualistic “mediums” could contact the spirits of the dead. Among other things, we discuss the friendship (and then bitter rivalry) … Read more“The Ghost Racket Crusade”