This project was originally conceived for an exhibition organised by designers Auger-Loizeau to explore different uses for their Afterlife battery project. We decided to use our battery for a euthanasia machine. With couples, when one person goes, we’re never sure how long the other is going to hang on afterwards.
If it all proves too much for them, we could use the energy created by the first person to go to help the second one on their way. We’re not sure if it would be a form of conceptual murder or not, but it would definitely be a kind of ‘assisted’ suicide.
We imagine you would set the device up on a small table by your bed or favourite comfortable chair, insert the battery, put the mask on, then, after a few minutes, insert the tube into the device, so causing a green light to come on and let you know it is working and ready. You can lie back in your bed or armchair, close your eyes, and thirty seconds later the carbon
dioxide will begin to flow.
or armchair, close your eyes, and thirty seconds later the carbon dioxide will begin to flow.
It’s intended for a time when euthanasia is far more common than it is today. Medical technologies may have extended life spans but they have not increased quality of life. It’s not too difficult to imagine a time when people opt to take their own lives at the appropriate moment. All sorts of variations on suicide machines may evolve to cater for a huge range of emotional, psychological and metaphysical circumstances. Who would have thought that doctors would eventually work with technologists to develop new and humane ways of dying?
Part of 'Between Reality and the Impossible'. Commissioned for the 2010 Saint-Étienne International Design Biennial.
Photos: Jason Evans