Project of a fictional company offering alternative spaces for commemoration and mourning

Swedish artist Ulrika Wachtmeister’s Transitions conceptual project has been awarded the first prize of the Fused Space competition, an international, on-line competition for ideas on innovative application of new technology in the public domain.

Noticing that the spreading of a deceased ash is gaining in popularity, but that those left behind still need a place to remember, she imagined a fictional company, called Pepperholm Ltd, that would offer personal memorials on the internet linked to a light installation on the artificial island Pepparholm.

Pepperholm, situated in Örsund, between Copenhagen and Malmö, was created to support the transition between the bridge and the tunnel connecting the two cities. Pepperholm is divided by the bridge / tunnel transition without connecting to it. Paradoxically, the island is fully displayed for cars and trains passing by but completely unreachable.

Transitions is a light installation designed for this specific situation. A field –with 1.5m high light-poles connected to the internet through mobile technology– is placed on the thinnest part of the island and stretches out into the water on both sides.

On the internet a society is build up around a virtual memorial, allowing personal memorial pages, condolences, correspondence, support-groups, etc. mimicking the traditional role of the church and the conventional graveyard.

When the virtual memorial is visited, a light-pole on the island is turned on only to slowly start fading away after a while. The effect on the island will be a glimmering field of lights, which you pass through on your way to somewhere else.