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Futurist Friday: Curating the Hereafter

Category: Center for the Future Of Museums Blog

I have a special place in my heart for museums that help their audiences explore the future.

The latest addition to my collection: the Hereafter Institute, a fictitious company created by Gabriel Barcia-Colombo, recipient of a 201 LACMA Art + Technology grant.

Working in collaboration with theater director Benita de Wit, Barcia-Colombo envisions the Hereafter Institute as “part funeral home, part tech company.” The resulting provocation challenges us to think about our legacy in a digital age. What will happen to your data when you die? How will the masses of data you create during your life change the way you are memorialized? 

The Hereafter Institute: An Invitation from Gabriel Barcia-Colombo on Vimeo.

As reported in the LAist, the exhibit will include virtual reality simulations that enable you to spend time with a virtual reality recreation of Barcia-Colombo’s grandfather; wearable tech loaded with memories; and the digital equivalent of cremation urns, filled with the deceased’s digital remains.

The fictional Hereafter Institute is offering a limited number of real individual consultations–and there already is a waiting list. If you snag a consult, let me know! I will invite you to write about it for the Blog. 

Meanwhile, readers, read the article, watch the video, and think about how digital data will change the way museums remember and interpret the dead, and whether it shapes how you want to be remembered. 

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