We'e started working on some ideas for the camp for the SecondLife version of Burning Man. We're also getting involved as volunteers - communication, making clothes, building vehicles, being a ranger. We want to tie in the idea of death as a rite of passage. Hopefully we can collect some data for our research project on virtual memorials. We're going to ask people to leave pictures or written memories of folks that have passed away, put them up on the metal tree, and see how people respond.
Here's the tree - my first idea for it anyway. It has to be made out of stuff that we could conceivably truck to the playa and erect there. I found these trusses in my inventory. Originally there were rusty metal, but i'm thinking wood might be better, lighter. The idea is that there is a central trunk - the vertical truss. And the roof trusses are the branches..right now there are 2 of them. My burn buddy Marc, who I made machinima with, thinks he can write a script to let people "touch" the branches and they will rock for a little bit. I'd like that - interactive is cool (so are bow ties and fezzes, but that's another show)
We've been looking at images of death and funerals and the afterlife...trying to get some ideas for the camp. We may put some of these images around at the burn camp..to get people talking and to sort of seed the idea of leaving memories.
Here are a couple of coffins from Ghana
And some other images I found looking around the Smithsonian website