From the James Auger and Jimmy Loizeau are heavily invested in the intersection of science, technology and art, generating such evocative works as the Interstitial Space Helmet and the Audio Tooth Implant. And in their 2009 project “Afterlife,” the spell out a scientifically-validated afterlife for a human species obsessed with the realms beyond death.
Because what really awaits us on the other side? Heaven? Hell? Reincarnation. Annihilation? Even the future prospects of cryonic reanimation or digitized consciousness are existentially problematic.
So Auger and Loizeau take what we know about the afterlife — the star-born chemicals in our body, the process of decay after death — and devise a method of harnessing the resulting energy. A sub-casket microbial fuel cell harness the chemical energy of decay, generating electricity from organic matter. This energy goes into a traditional dry-cell battery and then your true afterlife can take a variety of forms. Your survivors might use the batter to play a favorite song, to shine a light in the dark or power up that Furby you loved as a kid.
In this, they offer a funeral service that “acknowledges ourselves as chemical entities providing perhaps the only genuine guarantee of life after death.” Let’s watch:
So where would you want your afterlife batteries to go?
About the author: Robert Lamb is a senior writer and podcaster at HowStuffWorks, where he co-hosts Stuff to Blow Your Mind with Julie Douglas. He has a love for monsters, an aversion to slugs and a hankering for electronic music.