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.
Founded and edited by John Wadsworth, Art of Dying Magazine offers a wide range of feature articles by and about people who are working creatively with death. Within the three issues published to date, features have ranged from an opinion piece on the state of the American funeral industry by Order of the Good Death … Read moreArt of Dying Magazine
Leslie Ann Epperson’s 2015 documentary (trailer above) examines the history, personalities, logistics and guiding ethos of Tucson’s acclaimed All Souls Procession. This secular and notably artistic remembrance of death and celebration of life dates back to the year 1990 and has grown from strength to strength – a recent count estimated well over 150,000 participants … Read more“Many Bones, One Heart” – a Documentary on Tucson’s All Souls Procession
VICE reporter Yuka Uchida investigates the practice of “Well Dying” or “Near Death” simulations in South Korea, wherein participants experience a ritual “death” – including the writing of final letters to loved ones and a symbolic burial – in order to gain perspective on their lives.
By Tony Wolf The medieval, black-cloaked Grim Reaper has long devolved into parody via New Yorker cartoons and Monty Python sketches. Here’s a gallery of images I’ve created in Dreams, towards a new personification of death, represented as an inevitable and integral part of the natural cycle. A “Green Reaper”, perhaps …
New Orleans artist Candy Chang created the first Before I Die wall in 2011, after the death of a close friend. By painting the wall of an abandoned house in her neighborhood with chalkboard paint and repeatedly stenciling the phrase “Before I die I want to”, followed by a blank line, she established a local … Read moreThe “Before I Die” Project
An excerpt from Christel Manning’s excellent essay for the Harvard Divinity Bulletin on how nontheists/atheists, freethinkers et al face their own mortality: We often think of science as cold and hard and value neutral. Max Weber famously wrote of how the ascendancy of science over religion in the modern world has led to “disenchantment.” Yet … Read more“Facing Death Without Religion”
Activist Danny Gamboa produced this short, intimate documentary on ghost bikes – junk bicycles painted white and locked to street signs as memorials to riders killed by cars in traffic accidents.
Here is Allison Elizabeth Solso’s 2015 dissertation on the theme of “vernacular memorials”; the often-temporary shrines constructed by bereaved families and friends at the sites of often-violent deaths. An excerpt: My relationship to these spaces was always confused, even as I did my best to maintain respect and some modicum of decorum. The need to … Read more“Beyond Memento Mori: Understanding American Religions Through Roadside Shrines”
James Pallister’s 2018 article for the UK Design Council offers an overview of how modern designers are reimagining and reinventing the experience of death: We’ve had a 50-year experiment with medicalising mortality, with casting it as just another problem for us to treat like any other, and I think that experiment is failing. But we … Read more“Reinventing Death for the Twenty-First Century”