In Memoriam: the failure of language to represent death and mourning.
"Someone Has Died," a component of my "In Memoriam" senior thesis installation, consists of six black and white prints.
Each print in "Someone Has Died" mines the same data set of 2,719 deaths reported in 51 news articles over the past decade. Half of the prints mimic the composition of a book page. These three prints mark each article with the epitaph "Someone Has Died" and a footnote to the corresponding news story.
The other three prints in the "Someone Has Died" series list each individual death from the 2,719 news articles. The listed deaths in each print are too numerous to be comprehensibly represented visually. The deaths appear as illegible geometric patterns composed of overlaid text, underscoring both the astronomical amount of death and its ineffable nature.
Auto-Memorialize is a twitter api that live-streams tweets containing the phrase "Rest in Peace." Inspired by the work of German Anti-Monumentalists, Auto- Memorialize is not supposed to be an answer or solution to the problematics of memorials or representation. Instead, it is an attempt to give form and audience to any and all invocations of memorialization. Using Processing, I wrote a program that finds and streams tweets that use the phrase "Rest in Peace". The program regularly researches to create a live feed. Each tweet is given exactly 8 seconds on the screen before being replaced. In doing so the meaning of the phrase "Rest in Peace" and the form of the memorial itself is in constant flow and constantly changing. Yet, simultaneously a sense of gravity for tweets that were written with memorializing intent is still preserved.