The Flowerskull Mask: A Thanatopositive Art Project

By Tony Wolf I recently took part in the month-long online course Make Your Own Memento Mori: Befriending Death with Art, History and the Imagination, which was organized and taught by Morbid Anatomy founder Joanna Ebenstein. This course combines extensive and fascinating weekly readings and viewings, lectures, discussions, art and writing prompts and so-on, towards a “final project” of each … Read moreThe Flowerskull Mask: A Thanatopositive Art Project

Flower Skull Marottes

By Tony Wolf Since the late 1990s I’ve been sporadically developing a philosophically rational, ecologically sound and communally festive approach to mortality, inspired by the motto memento mori ergo carpe diem – “remember death and therefore seize the day”. My interpretation of carpe diem encompasses Epicureanism as well as the perspective that a meaningful life … Read moreFlower Skull Marottes

A Seraphite Shrine from “The Last of Us, Part 2”

The Last of Us, Part 2 is a brutal, epic video game experience, set in a post-apocalyptic America devastated by a fungal infection that transforms humans into monsters. Death runs rampant throughout the grueling game-play, both as inflicted by and upon many of the characters and in terms of motivating a seemingly endless cycle of … Read moreA Seraphite Shrine from “The Last of Us, Part 2”

“Death of Hippie” – October 6, 1967

It is nothing new. We have a private revolution going on. A revolution of individuality and diversity that can only be private. Upon becoming a group movement, such a revolution ends up with imitators rather than participants … - Bob Stubbs, “Unicorn Philosophy” We wanted to signal that this was the end of it, to stay … Read more“Death of Hippie” – October 6, 1967

The Renaissance Faire Danse Macabre

I have a soft spot for the tradition of Danse Macabre enactments as part of the Renaissance Faire circuit’s grassroots, DIY amusement park vibe. Rather like the modern, American take on the Day of the Dead, that tradition stretches back to the counterculture of 1970s California. The original “Bones Band” was founded by an artist/musician … Read moreThe Renaissance Faire Danse Macabre

“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

Death Discussion Games Reviewed

Thanks to the good people at SevenPonds for this detailed article reviewing nine games designed to encourage conversations about the last taboo: Since 2004, when the Bay Area nonprofit The Coda Alliance launched the card game Go Wish, several dozen companies have released games that focus on the heretofore taboo subject of end of life. And while … Read moreDeath Discussion Games Reviewed

The New Danse Macabre at Stamping Ground (2003)

By Tony Wolf Several years after staging The New Danse Macabre in Wellington, New Zealand, I had become part of the regular faculty of the Stamping Ground Festival of Dance and the Action Arts in Bellingen, Australia. Stamping Ground was the brainchild of veteran dancer/ choreographer Peter Stock, who wanted to encourage greater participation in … Read moreThe New Danse Macabre at Stamping Ground (2003)

Morbid Curiosity: A Wickedly Fun Party Game About Death

Morbid Curiosity is a Trivial Pursuit-style party game designed to encourage engaging conversations about death. According to co-creator Kimberley Mead: It all started with a group of children. Strange for a game about death, but, it did. I was working at a grief center, facilitating a children’s group. I was struck with the remarkable difference … Read moreMorbid Curiosity: A Wickedly Fun Party Game About Death