The Death Incubator (London, UK)

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)

Memorial Land Art: Alberto Burri’s “Grande Cretto”

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”

The Land of the Dead in Coco (2017)

In this clip from Pixar’s modern classic Coco (2017), young Miguel – having been magically and accidentally transported from a crypt in his home-town’s cemetery during el Dia de Muertos – crosses a cempasúchitl bridge between the worlds and first encounters the Land of the Dead. The filmmakers’ visualization of a towering, glowing necropolis in … Read moreThe Land of the Dead in Coco (2017)

Art of Dying Magazine

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

“Many Bones, One Heart” – a Documentary on Tucson’s All Souls Procession

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

McMuerto’s

Artist John Jota Leaños’ McMuerto’s project (1998) satirized the encroaching commercialization and cultural mainstreaming of the día de muertos festival in the USA: Inspired by the ancient Aztec’s legendary journey to the happy land of the dead, McTlandTM is a world of exotic fun and surprises. The diligent research of McMuerto’s staff has brought the … Read moreMcMuerto’s

“Audio as the Realm of the Dead”

Audio as the Realm of the Dead was a 2007 site-specific memento mori sound art project by Victoria Estok: Created as a gift to those who recognize Roosevelt, NJ as their home, this one day sound installation allowed the dead to be heard again and the listener to enter into a realm of shared memory deep … Read more“Audio as the Realm of the Dead”

The “Before I Die” Project

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

“Laughing in the Face of Death: Ruysch, Dark Humor & Subversion of the Memento Mori in Anatomical Art”

Here’s an excerpt from Stefania Spano’s essay for Hektoen International: A Journal of Medical Humanities on the theme of dark humor in memento mori art: Ruysch’s artistry was matched by his commitment to the underlying science and to using the materials of the dead to teach the living. “I do this,” he explained, “to take … Read more“Laughing in the Face of Death: Ruysch, Dark Humor & Subversion of the Memento Mori in Anatomical Art”