This is a screen show (no audio, 40 mins. approx.) that documents the contribution to the research pavilion by Cemetery Archipelago, comprising Birgitta Nordström, Ram Krishna Ranjan, Daniel Jewesberry, Jyoti Mistry, and Mick Wilson. It should auto-play on opening the page. If you cannot see, set your browser to allow autoplay and refresh page.

Cemetery Archipelago began as a proposal to investigate the ways in which mortality is figured in the spaces, material processes, practices and symbolic production of the Venetian archipelago. The basic point of departure initially proposed was that the morphology of the Venetian lagoon is a dynamic and unstable constellation of land and sea, and a motile encounter of human and non-human agencies, and so provides a highly particularized site for the figuring of death. This “figuring of death” was not proposed as a purely metaphorical operation but rather as something that proceeded from a dynamic of invention “immanent to … material substance” and “therefore not dependent on the human assignment of cultural meaning.”

However, in the development of the research process, this proposition and initial departure point was problematized, as a number of competing perspectives emerged on: (i) the different tropes of mortality operative in the different research practices brought together in the cell; (ii) the contingencies of site and the desire to disperse the framing of concerns in less clichéd terms; and (iii) the tensions between methodological approaches oriented variously by a ‘politics of representation’ or by an ‘ontology of expression.’

What emerges from this process of internal contestation is a multiplication of perspectives and fault lines within a community of practitioner-researchers. Within the framework of the Pavilion / Research Ecologies, we then present a schematic informational display material exemplars (infant wrapping cloths) that seek to disclose this diversity of (still emerging) positions across the different researchers within the cell, rather than instantiate any one position as fully settled and finalized.

Cemetery Archipelago: On the imaginaries of human and non-human death

We additionally provide here a .pdf of the poster material as presented in the exhibition space: the posters.