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Could death really be so gentle with the help of technology?
This is the question posed by designer and researcher Jessica Charlesworth and her fictional research initiative, The MeMo Organization. The Latin phrase memento mori, meaning, “remember you will die”, denotes objects which remind us of our mortality. What alternative memento mori practices and rituals might be created in light of current developments in technology and science?
In January 2012, Jessica exhibited The MeMo Organization Cabinet an installation at the Chicago Cultural Center in downtown Chicago as part of the exhibition Morbid Curiosity : The Richard Harris Collection. The installation consists of a cabinet of curious objects and stories that explores a range of poetic practices and attitudes towards death and mourning in relation to developments in science, philosophy and technology. The MeMo Organization is a research-based initiative that recognizes the way cultural shifts have created new relations toward death and experiences. Such change opens the door to more personal, relevant and contemporary experiences of death.
Jessica is a speculative designer with experience working for both public and private sector organisations to explore the future implications of their field. She explores ways of using design to unravel and provoke rich interactions between people, technology, products and services. Whether critiquing science-related themes or exploring how science and technology development affect our attitudes towards death and mortality, Charlesworth’s work addresses fundamental questions about society’s institutions, ambitions and behaviors.