Here’s a powerful provocation from artist Jae Rhim Lee. Can we commit our bodies to a cleaner, greener Earth, even after death? Naturally — using a special burial suit seeded with pollution-gobbling mushrooms. Yes, this just might be the strangest TEDTalk you’ll ever see …
Jae Rhim Lee’s Infinity Burial Project explores the choices we face after death, and how our choices reflect our denial or acceptance of death’s physical implications. The project proposes alternatives for the postmortem body that promote and facilitate an individual engagement with the process of decomposition. She’s been developing a new unique strain of fungus, the Infinity Mushroom, that decomposes and remediates the industrial toxins we store in human tissue and convert our unused bodies efficiently into nutrients. With the development of a decomposition ‘kit’, burial suits embedded with decomposition activators, and a membership society devoted to the promotion of death awareness and acceptance and the practice of decompiculture (the cultivation of decomposing organisms), her Infinity Burial System converts corpses into clean compost. She was in residence at the MAK Center in Los Angeles this fall working on the project. And if this vision of life after death appeals to you, sign up to become a Decompinaut yourself.
This brings a whole new perspective on the Mushroom Kingdom. Also see William Li : Eat to starve cancer.
Jae Rhim Lee: My mushroom burial suit