Mushroom death suit  JUL 27 2011

Mushroom Death Suit

Jae Rhim Lee is growing mushrooms that will eat her body after she dies. She has also designed a special suit that will house the mushrooms as they do their work.

I am interested in cultural death denial, and why we are so distanced from our bodies, and especially how death denial leads to funeral practices that harm the environment -- using formaldehyde and pink make-up and all that to make your loved one look vibrant and alive, so that you can imagine they're just sleeping rather than actually dead. The US government recently upgraded formaldehyde from a probable carcinogen to a known carcinogen, so by trying to preserve the body we poison the living.

So I was thinking, what is the antidote to that? For me the answer was this mushroom - the Infinity Mushroom. It is a symbol of a new way of thinking about death.

Read more posts on kottke.org about:
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