suckerPUNCH: Describe your project.
Zeynep AKSOZ: The project merges the idea of the graveyard as a spiritual space with the digital communication technology and generates a communication platform where one can visit their loved ones and communicate with their digital identities after death.
The proof of our existence is the personal interaction. The absence of it arouses a feeling of loss and sadness for the ones who remain. The impossibility of the communication after death ends up in the sense of sadness. But what if the communication would continue after we stop existing.
The common use of digital media opened a new perspective on collecting and recalling memories. The stacked information on the internet generates a digital identity for each user that continues to exist even after death. The developments in artificial intelligence technologies could allow these identities to continue existing and evolving within the digital environment and accordingly continue interact with the relatives.
The digital cemetery proposes a new kind of graveyard where additionally to the remains of the dead also their digital identities is stored. The passive ritual of remembrance in the grave visits evolves into a interactive communication with the digital identity of the lost one. The project also questions the reality of the digital information and if it can provide a replacement to the loss.
The spatial concept derives from the idea of entering the grave to communicate the loved ones. The underground space isolates itself from the real world. It detaches the relation to outside. The classical idea of grave stone is reinvented into a light beam, where the holographic images can be displayed. This new kind of gravestones also creates a garden of lighting.
The cemetery merges the classical idea of the cemetery with digital information. The inclusion of information technology into the subject of death changes the whole idea of mourning. The space generates a new platform for the emergence of new rituals of remembrance.
sP: What or who influenced this project?
ZA: Sedimentary rock formations, cave structures, and Adam Ostrow’s TED Talk “After Your Final Status Update.”
sP: What were you reading/listening to/watching while developing this project?
ZA: Listening to: Fuck Buttons, Tarot Sport and Daft Punk, Tron Legacy soundtrack, which might have influenced the renderings.
sP: Whose work is currently on your radar?
ZA: Iris Van Herpen, Achim Menges, George Legendre, and Philip Beesley.