Workshop: The Last Resort
Would you choose immortality? Dive into the research behind artist Stine Deja’s newest installation ‘The Last Resort’ (2019). This artist talk and workshop invites participants to imagine future scenarios using hands-on activities to think through issues of ageing, death and technology. What would you preserve if you had the chance?
Stine Deja continues her investigations into the architecture of human lives. What does it mean to be a human in the technological age? Death is a certainty of the human condition and a cycle that has been repeated throughout history without exception. But what if, in the future, there was a way to genetically re-engineer and chemically re-programme our cells to overcome this ultimate inevitability?
Immortality may well become a viable option within our own lifetimes. Through technology we could soon alter the natural cycle of life. This workshop investigates the ethics, economics and eccentricities of preservation, exploring life extension technology and its surrounding issues. Come and speculate for yourself.
‘The Last Resort’ (2019), is Deja’s first work in an ongoing research project, that brings the futuristic notion of human immortality into the present. This installation of 401 stacked, unlabelled metal cans mirror the population of 401 corpses currently cryopreserved worldwide; ‘cold sleeping’ in liquid nitrogen. Alcor, the biggest provider of this service, is located in the Arizona desert. Deja imagines a dystopian future, where the only thing remaining after an end-of-the-world scenario are a series of tinned bodies optimistically waiting to be brought back to life. By combining the idea of cryonics with the visual of canned food, the work questions if we can and should put a price on long life. What will happen in a society where only the most privileged can buy immortality? Is immortality an irresponsible dream in a world with widespread inequality, climate change and political madness?
Stine Deja combines 3D animation, immersive installation, moving image and sound to explore the complex spaces between real and virtual worlds. In Deja’s simulated spaces, uncanny avatars and scenarios move between the strange and familiar selling us not-quite-real products, informed by Deja’s simultaneous fascination and revulsion with hyper-commercialised contemporary culture. Underneath the sleek surface of Deja’s installations are layers of social commentary, ethical critique and tragicomic narratives existing in imaginary spaces not so far from here.