When people go to cemeteries today, they walk down rows of silent stone engraved with names, dates, and perhaps an identifier or two (mother, child, loving spouse). Cemeteries are established public spaces for respectfully recalling and remembering individuals, but this one-sided interaction, rememberer to rememberee, hasn't changed for centuries. With Me, Myself and I, we envision the cemetery of the future.
Public space for remembrance of an individual is reserved at birth rather than upon death. In this future cemetery, individual plots are built as miniature mausoleums that store annually collected impressions of an individual, physicalized as digital avatars. As an individual ages, the collection of impressions in their mausoleum grows. People can revisit their own past selves as well as the past selves of family members, friends, and even strangers--anybody you might visit in a cemetery.
Interactions with past selves are not without consequences. If an adult visits their 12-year-old self and tells them what happens in their future, it will affect how that 12-year-old version conceptualizes the world and reacts back to the visiting adult and all subsequent visitors. What happens if you tell a younger self you broke up with who they were in love with at the moment of impression-making? What happens if you revisit a favorite memory with this imprint and the way an event has been remembered differ between the avatar and current self? What happens if you tell a younger version a close family member died? What happens if you tell a younger version that you have given up on a long-held dream? What happens if somebody else tells a digital avatar version of you that you yourself have died?
Our future cemetery explores the ways a person is remembered by different people at different times, the ways a person evolves over time, and the ways memory can be subtly manipulated and alternate realities created.
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