Thursday, April 7, 2011

Auger Loizeau: Afterlife, and Carnivorous Domestic Entertainment Robots

Once again, the work of an artist challenges us to examine our relationship with death and the afterlife.  In this fanciful design concept, artist Auger Loizeau compels us to think about death in some novel ways.  Whether we are intriqued or repulsed by the work, we come away changed.

Afterlife from Auger-Loizeau on Vimeo.

"Many religions have their own notions of what the Afterlife or an existence after death may be, making death less final or daunting. However, as our lives become increasingly defined by technological interventions and scientific validation our increasing faith in technology has led to a decreased belief in organized religion. What then is there for the aggrieved atheist with regard to reassurance or comfort after the loss of a loved one?

With this in mind the Afterlife project offers a technologically mediated service providing a tangible expression of life after death.

The service harnesses the chemical potential of the body that would otherwise be assimilated into the natural eco-system. A modified coffin utilizes the biomass potential of the body, channeling this resource into a microbial-fuel cell housed underneath to charge dry-cell batteries via a capacitor bank.
From a metaphysical perspective the Afterlife project offers tangible proof of life after death. From the perspective of someone faced with their own mortality and for the individual going through the mourning process, utilization of the Afterlife battery in an evocative product offers psychological and emotional benefit." -Auger Loizeau
In this next design, Loizeau challenges our complicit role in creating entertainment out of death.  

Carnivorous Domestic Entertainment Robots from Auger-Loizeau on Vimeo.
"With this project we offer an alternative perspective on domestic robots, exploring the subtleties of both aesthetics and function that may elicit a symbiotic co-existence with humans in their homes."

For more of Loizeau's compelling work, visit

My Thanks to SevenPonds Blog for introducing me to this work.  Click here to see their post on a project that was made for an exhibit showcasing imaginative uses for the Afterlife Battery.

1 comment:

Death Matters said...

Loizeau is certainly provocative and inventive - which makes him an excellent contemporary artist ... but no more than that.

"... we have the option to be repulsed, engaged, or both". Actually, there are other options: namely to smile or be quite indifferent. Because his pretension to be revealing some new form of after-life through the capturing and storing of mere electrical energy is so ridiculous, even metaphorically, that it can only be ignored or smiled at.

Fundamentally, it is nothing more than the tired old modern belief that one lives on only in others, or as the energy that is returned to nature. Confined to their levels, both are of course true, but in the bigger picture of possibilities they represent the lowest and most obvious forms of "after-life" - booby-prizes for nihilists who have lost the capacity to believe in and work for some form of individual survival.

It should also be obvious that this concept reduces us (and our energy) to exactly the same level as animals or plants - for any of them could be used to power the cells. Anyone who believes this is to be ignored, smiled at condescendingly, or pitied.

But dear "Daily Undertaker", despite my critical view in this instance, I greatly appreciate that you bring such artistic efforts to our attention. Only through this kind of trial and error and testing in the market place will our society eventually return to some deeper understanding of death and dying - thanks again!

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