Thu 3.9. – Mon 7.9.
10:00 – 20:00

Tue 8.9.
10:00 – 17:00

A digital death ritual for the information age



mission eternity zeremonie

Sun 6.9. 20:00 – 20:30

“MISSION ETERNITY” (M∞) trespasses the norms of a civilization obsessed with data storage and transportation of cargo. Existing architecture and rituals are inadequate when facing death today.

Independent of religious beliefs and scientific speculations, etoy explores life after death. The art group exploits computer technology and global transportation networks to process, distribute and revive human remains.

The key to this long-term project is TIME. etoy decided to invest 32 years into M∞. At the heart of M∞ stands the creation and long-term conservation of ARCANUM CAPSULES. They are hosted in the shared memory of thousands of networked computers and mobile devices of M∞ ANGELS, people who contribute a part of their digital storage capacity to the mission. The ARCANUM CAPSULE is a digital portrait of a M∞ PILOT – a data swarm that travels space and time forever. It contains digital fragments of a person’s life: ASCII text, statistics, voice samples, electrocardiograms, photos and other records from government and family archives or online sources. The launch of an ARCANUM CAPSULE requires the active presence of a living PILOT. An ARCANUM CAPSULE is defined by a unique 16 digit alphanumerical ID (e.g. F718 34AA 6A9A 6586) assigned to each PILOT.

etoy.AGENTS could encapsulate 7 billion individuals per second for more than 83 years.

At the M∞ GATE (http://www.missioneternity.org/gate), PILOTS hand over their data and the control over them to eternity. From this point forward, the data cannot be changed or revoked.

After uploading the digital heritage, the integration of the mortal remains (the hardware) of a PILOT complements the death ritual.

The TERMINUS, a cube-shaped plug, molds the ashes of a PILOT with cement. During a ceremony the TERMINUS is installed in the SARCOPHAGUS: a 20-foot cargo container outfitted with 17,000 LEDs that displays ARCANUM CAPSULE content of up to 1,000 human beings who passed away. As part of the worldwide container traffic, the SARCOPHAGUS travels through the geographical space just as the ARCANUM CAPSULES travel as data packages through the internet.

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In cooperation with Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia, Linz 2009 European Capital of Culture – Extra Europa Schweiz.

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