Friday, December 9, 2016


            This almost decade long project from 2006-2015, The Prospect of Immortality by Murray Ballard, the title of a book by Robert Ettinger, explores the world of cryonics. According to Ballard’s artist statement, cryonics is “the process of freezing a human body after death in the hope that scientific advances might one day restore life”. Places where these communities and laboratories exist include Arizona, Moscow, KrioRus and Peacehaven. The series includes the technical aspects alongside portraits of those giving their bodies away to science in the future. For instance, Frank, prospective patient and standby team member is apart of both aspects of the process, one who places people in the storage facility but also one who one day will be in the storage facility. This creates a dynamic between human and machines, changing the way viewers perceive death, bodies in a futuristic freezer versus immersed in nature after death. Many have already been frozen in liquid nitrogen while others are on the list for once they pass. Scientifically, Patient Storage Demonstration contains an inside view of how the participates will appear in storage. Although just a demonstration and not an actual person, this images gives an eerie feel with the form of a body in the sleeping bag creating a sense of reality of death but also the process. Ballard’s interest includes the notion of defeating death, for some, by this scientific process. He takes a neutral stance in order for the audience to create their opinion of this process, whether the viewer believes in the science or not.

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