By speculative Agents Aguer and Loizeau (UK)
There are many perspectives and beliefs on what happens to us after our lives in this planet come to an end.
When faced with our own mortality or that of a loved one, notions of what the afterlife may hold; whether it be in a spirit world such as heaven or reincarnated into another body or form, spiritual faith can offer great comfort and reassurance. Science and reason though have started to undermine these traditional belief systems as we strive to find logic and meaning in our existence. This scientific research has yet to offer any tangible proof of continued existence, after death. So in terms of comfort and reassurance what then is there for the grieving atheist?
Where to put the battery is an extremely personal and emotive choice. During a lecture by Auger & Loizeau about “Afterlife”, participants were asked to propose what they would do with an afterlife battery charged either by themselves or their partner / family.
I would support the research into a development of a multi chargeable battery – so that you could collect a whole family charge chain recognised by it having the names inscribed on the case of the battery. The inscription tool would be powered by the battery charged with the energy of the previously deceased…. thus after some generations you would have a nomadic family vault. (Voltage would increase with every addition…)
Considering myself a romantic and a fantastic lover in life, I ask myself “Why should the fun stop when I die?” I would like my Afterlife battery to be placed in a vibrator for several acts of love after I’m gone.
If my father passed away, this is how I would use his battery. I would power some kind of electrical bird warbler. To be left in the garden, a unique noise though, formed from bird sounds common to Cheshire and rural Wales. It should not warble constantly, it should be around breakfast. This is because my father – early in the morning – can often be found out in the Garden (having pissed on the compost) in pants and vest, whistling along with various birds, for extended periods. It has to be said, he is pretty good.
I want it observed in my will that my family (my partner Marloes, my three children Moses, Julius and Maurice) will be forced to stare at 3 illuminated bulbs in a small case placed above mantelpiece powered by my battery which reads “NO HARD FEELINGS” until said sign dies out. Only then can they receive their entitlement.
I imagine, like many other people, upon my deathbed I will hold a number of small regrets relating to things I should have said and done during my lifetime. Fortunately, the Afterlife Battery offers me the opportunity, in the form of my Last Will & Testament to live out my short but rich electronically mediated future afterlife.
Why an aeroplane? Why a Spitfire MK1?
I don’t feel the need to be remembered as an object. I’d like my energy to create an act. Since a child flying has fascinated me, not sure why, just does. I have always wanted to fly but have never completely felt at ease enough to think I could manage it without killing myself. I still intend to fly myself in one way or another but just in case I don’t this will ensure it.
Very rarely man creates an object that connects with the human soul, anyone who has witnessed a Spitfire and especially the MK1 in flight will have felt that connection. It looks, sounds, functions and is just ‘right’, it is perfect. The curve of the wings, it’s proportions, it’s functionality, it was also fitted with the Rolls Royce Merlin which without exception, before, after or at anytime in the future is the greatest four stroke engine ever produced.
A regular event in my family life is the argument over the control of the TV remote and the programmes that we will collectively watch. There is a complex process of negotiation that involves give and take, selfishness and selflessness. I would like to be memorialized in an evocation of this process, not least because I want to be remembered in relation to mundane technology (one of my academic specialisms), as a typically contradictory human being, and as a loving partner and father who was intent in bettering his family (my preferred genre was nature documentaries) while being chronically silly.
I would like my Afterlife battery to power a small speaker mechanism (much like the sort you find in a singing birthday card) integrated into a remote control. Whenever the TV is switched on by the remote, a recording of my voice is played to say either: “It’s my turn, so I’m going to decide what we watch” or “I really don’t mind, it’s your turn to choose.” Given how fragile and contentious everyday familial memory is, these two phrases should appear at random. Alternatively, and slightly more subtly, I’d like my Afterlife battery to power a circuit that makes the TV remote select very occasionally, automatically and unpredictably a channel showing a nature documentary. The channel cannot be changed for the duration of the programme, and the television can only be switched off at the mains.