Jae Rhim Lee
The Infinity Burial Project, 2008 – today
Installation | Plexiglass cube, burial suit, poster | Installation dimensions variable
The Infinity Burial Project is a modest proposal for an alternative burial system which challenges cultural death denial and environmental degradation inherent in contemporary funeral practices.
The Project features the Infinity Mushroom, a future hybrid mushroom which will 1) decompose bodies, 2) remediate the industrial toxins in bodies, and 3) deliver nutrients to plant roots. I am currently developing a unique strain of an existing edible mushroom that will be optimized to consume my body’s tissues and excretions—skin, hair, nails, blood, bone, fat, tears, urine, feces, and sweat.
The Infinity Mushroom will be incorporated into a series of Burial Suits. The first prototype of the Infinity Burial Suit is a body suit embroidered with thread infused with mushroom spores. The embroidery pattern resembles the dendritic growth of mushroom mycelium. The Suit is accompanied by an Alternative Embalming Fluid, a liquid spore slurry, and Decompiculture Makeup, composed of mineral makeup, mushroom spores, and liquid culture medium. The completed Burial System will include the above elements in a container which will convert corpses into useable biomethane gas and clean compost.
The development of the Infinity Bur ial System is also a part of my own confrontation with death and training to become a-Master of Death Acceptance, a process documented in a film titled Once You’re Dead. The film also explores cultural death denial and the psychological, social, and environmental aspects of death practices.
Jae Rhim Lee
Jae Rhim Lee (*1975 South Korea) lives and works in New York, USA.