Concept art for the planned Temple of the Heart at Burning Man 2023, including the Rose Altar which will feature wooden commemorative roses created by community members. More at the Temple 2023 website.
A short video preview of the upcoming Beyond Granite project, which will invite visionary artists to create special commemorative works, performances, and installations on the National Mall and throughout the District of Columbia.
Jesse Dorris writes for The New Yorker on the newly-unveiled permanent memorial for the six teachers and twenty young children killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School on December 14, 2012: The memorial’s spatial poetics—the balance between circular pathways and blocks of granite, its enduring engravings of names in stone and perennials for texture and color … Read more“The Contemplative, Unnerving Beauty of the Sandy Hook Memorial”
The ironic “fear” of the Halloween season isn’t normally my bag, but I can’t resist featuring this 2015 short horror film by David Schmidt, who had previously directed another horror short – The Lovecraft Syndrome (2004) – starring my wife, Kat. The Underpass is set in our fondly-recalled former neighborhood of Rogers Park and explores … Read moreThe Underpass (2015)
My new article for OnlySky Media is a memoir of my year-long experiment in public art/memorial: In 2015 I moved to Rogers Park, and during the Summer Solstice of 2021 was inspired to join the Artists of the Wall project. I painted my roughly four-foot section of the wall a midnight blue, and upon that field … Read more“… with hope that this assemblage of rubble would become a shrine …”
Since moving to our new riverside neighborhood, I’ve been in the habit of leaving small memorial tokens – leaves, pieces of bark, twigs, etc. – on this tree stump along the river pathway. Very occasionally, there’s been evidence that others are likewise leaving items on the stump, though their purpose is unknown to me. This … Read moreRiverside Shrine
This evening I was intrigued to happen across an artistic memorial ritual taking place within minutes of my home. The Ishti Collective’s Returning Home ritual honors those who have returned to the earth via a symbolic ceremony involving rangoli designs and a short walking meditation, followed by a graceful dance performance.
A new memorial ritual emerges at Green-Wood Cemetery in NYC, where people have begun leaving sticks for Rex, a Very Good Boy whose statue may date back to the year 1884.
Jesse Bering writes for the Scientific American on the psychology of green burial practices, especially regarding the psychological mechanism of essentialism: I’ll go out on a limb here and say that even if one doesn’t believe in some ethereal or religious version of the afterlife, it’s rather difficult to escape the cognitive illusion that the … Read more“My Dead Mother, the Tree That Never Was: The Psychology of ‘Green Burial’ Practices”