Curious Trends - Immortality

22/03/2011

Immortalization through fashion


Fashion is becoming ever more accepted as an art form and now sits comfortably alongside other works of design art in museums and galleries. Until recently, exhibitions dedicated to clothing have either tended to focus upon historical costume, presented by age, in chronological order – or have been curated selections of items by a renowned designer, like the Versace or Vivienne Westwood exhibitions at the Victoria and Albert Museum, or the Vionnet show at Les Arts Décoratifs in Paris.

Lately, we’ve begun to see collections of clothing belonging to individuals on display – like the exhibition of Princess Diana’s clothes at Kensington Palace and the Grace Kelly Style Icon show at the V&A. The people whose clothes are put on show are generally famous or dead – usually both. However, this is likely to change in the future, as more of us look to find ways to be remembered.  In years to come, what  the contents of our wardrobe and our taste in fashion say about us, and the stories our clothes tell of our lives, will have greatly added significance.
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08/07/2010

Online immortality


In 2004 I realized that a major new trend was emerging – one that combined life-caching (the desire to digitally collect and store information), with a burgeoning interest in history, ancestry and genealogy. I launched a website called Diary of Mankind in 2005, calling it a digital time capsule, where people from around the world could upload photos, record their life stories and memories for future generations.

In my 2006 book, Trends Beyond Life: In Search of Immortality I discussed the social and technological changes that lay behind our growing preoccupation with death and the desire to be remembered. I explained that “we are at the beginning of a major shift towards a renewed interest in family history, social responsibility, local networks, community-based interest groups and the value of life as determined by our ultimate mortality…or immortality.” I predicted that in the future “History and historians will regain prominence…Biographies, autobiographies, online diaries, obituaries and blogs will capture our attention...”

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