Nine Months of De-Construction

Speculations about Death

Alica Assadi

September / September - 2021

Folkwang Universität der Künste Essen

Master of Arts


This speculative work questions traditional sepulchral cultures and associated rituals and artifacts that often shroud and distance death. A novel, poetic funerary ritual is envisioned that strives to return the deceased in an ecologically responsible manner, focusing on our relationship to other living beings, organisms, and technologies.⁠⁠ It takes nine months to create life. What if it takes the same amount of time to deconstruct the body after death? Just as the body slowly grows, it is returned to the ecosystem after death, creating new life again. With burial begins the loving care of loved ones around the earth and the processes of repatriation. Mourners can respond to its needs through technological observations of the earth's soil using the 'Objects of Caring' and add materials and symbionts as needed. Unlike traditional grave ornaments, the objects have a functional intention, allowing new aesthetics of death to emerge.