From the Dutch design firm Studio Wieki Somers come household objects made out of human
ashes. Yes, human ashes. As in John Steegman (b. 1939, d. 1985), who is now a
Pietertje Vos (b. 1942, d. 2007), now a scale:
And Anne Lindeboom (b. 1920, d. 1984), a toaster:
thinks there’s too much conspicuous consumption in the world, so by
turning grandpa into a vacuum cleaner or a rocking chair or whatever,
she hopes we become more attached to our stuff. No one would throw out
a family member’s ashes. Why toss a dusty old toaster?
scary thing: Technology’s actually making this possible. Somers created
the objects on a 3-D printer. (Where she got the ashes, we have no
idea, but we’re, um, dying to know.)
Clearly, the project’s
meant to freak people out and Somers doesn’t really think we should heat
Pop-Tarts with dead bodies. (At least we hope not.) In any case, her
point is a good one. “A dilemma that questions us most, is the way
technology (or humanity) has made it possible to extend our lives
almost endlessly,” she says. “But what is an eternal life good for if
we use it only to continue being excessive consumers who strive for
more and more products, regardless of the consequences?” Great question.
Just don’t bring us back as a toilet plunger.