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.
Here’s a short CBS presentation on the revival of gardening in “cradle graves” at The Woodlands Cemetery in Philadelphia. Established during the mid-19th century, The Woodlands was part of the rural cemetery trend, in which landscaped, tree-lined graveyards established on the edges of cities provided welcome respite from urban noise and pollution. Rural cemeteries became … Read moreGrave Gardening at the Woodlands Cemetery
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
English poet Thomas Hardy (1840-1928) writes of the “second death”: II heard a small sad sound,And stood awhile among the tombs around:“Wherefore, old friends,” said I, “are you distrest,Now, screened from life’s unrest?” II—”O not at being here;But that our future second death is near;When, with the living, memory of us numbs,And blank oblivion comes! … Read more“The To-Be-Forgotten” (1899)
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”
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.
This episode of the Artbound documentary series considers the reinvention of the Day of the Dead festival in the USA, particularly via the work of the Self Help Graphics community art center in East Los Angeles during the early 1970s. For much more on this subject, I strongly recommend Regina M. Marchi’s 2009 book Day … Read moreArtbound: “Día de los Muertos/Day of the Dead”
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”