If you have been following this blog then you will know that there are people who will pay good money to have their mortal remains turned into objects to leave behind. Some of these are useful like eco-friendly artificial reefs. Others are more personal, like the diamonds that can be created from cremated remains.
One enterprising UK company, andvinyl.com has gone for the yooof market – or at least those who appreciate vinyl records. For £3,000, you can have your ashes pressed into a vinyl record, as well as any last message or favorite tunes. With lots of gallows humour (something that I am quite partial to) you can choose suggestions from the “raveyard” or just leave the record blank so that loved ones can listen to your “pop and crackles” – the unique quality of vinyl that purists enthuse about.
For an extra £3,500, you can have you portrait painted by either James Hague (National Portrait Gallery) or Paul Insect (street artist) for a cover design. One wonders if they do death bed sittings, though the fact that they will mix your ashes into the paint does suggest that you should be dead first.
Still good luck to them. It all smacks of essentialism again – that core of human cognition that needs to keep contact with the material essence of others. It just wouldn’t work with a digital recording – that’s too artificial!