Though ‘ashes to ashes’ is a phrase from the Anglican Book of Common Prayer burial service, the practice of burning the dead predates Christianity. The earliest recorded cremation was approx 20,000 – 26,000 years ago. In 1969 a female body was discovered in Lake Mungo (New South Wales, Australia). Mungo Lady lived around the shores of Lake Mungo. A time of plenty was coming to an end at Willandra Lakes, when the basins were full of water and teeming with life. When Mungo Lady died, her family mourned for her. Her body was cremated, the remaining bones were crushed, burned again and then buried in the growing lunette. No images are shown of Mungo Lady out of respect to the Ngiyampaa, the Mutthi Mutthi and the Paakantji and all Aboriginal people. The image here is from current tests of my projection maps. Thanks to Ivan Zhao.
On January 27th 2015, 11.00-12.30 I will give a talk at Interacting Minds Centre, Aarhus University
I introduce my art practice, focusing on previous collaborations with scientists, then present interdisciplinary work in progress with Aarhus University, City University Hong Kong and New York University. This research uses brain imaging to attempt to reveal the neural mechanisms underlying death-related psychological processes. For hundreds of years memento mori and vanitas artworks had an alleged function – to prompt the viewer to contemplate their own mortality. This collaborative research gathers fMRI data via two related single-subject fMRI experiments. This data is used to produce a range of outputs, ranging from sculptural 3D printed objects, displayed at Moesgaard Museum, Aarhus, Denmark to academic papers. See here for more details.