The Funeral Catafalque for the Digital Age is presented as part of Igor Bragado’s Rome Prize Fellowship Project "Il Lutto del Tuo Archivio."
Installed in San Pietro in Montorio square, Refresh, Renew proposes alternatives to current funerary protocols to foster and sync up memorial online and IRL. It manages the digital remains of a life lived online, acknowledging the current multiplication of images of the self as they navigate online and persist after biological expiration.
Common Accounts’Refresh, Renew continues their line of research on the subject of architecture’s role in the design of death at the scale of daily life. Since the arrival of social media, the cemetery has lost its exclusive hold as the primary space for funeral and memorial. This alteration in social spheres has multiplied the spaces through which ceremony is channelled. By re-articulating traditions of the gym and fitness and the construction of the body generally, Refresh, Renew focuses on the increasing production and circulation of bodies and images of the self in contemporary cultures and capitalizes on their capacity to construct personal archives as a project of eternalization. Recent cases of online funeral memorialization through the practice of fitness have brought to the surface a long historical lineage of the relationship between bodybuilding and death that span from the practice of athletics in Etruscan funerals to the development of contemporary mass fitness by the North American military apparatus. In this context, Facebook's first significant encounter with death—prompted by a fitness coach claiming access to the digital materials of his dead son—shows the displacement of spaces of mourning to areas like the comment section of a YouTube channel, a home-gym, or to muscle itself.