I’m personally holding out for an Irish wake followed by a Viking funeral, but the more eco-minded among us may want to meet eternity inside of a tree feeding off their cremated remains.
Bios Urn is a company founded by brothers Gerard and Roger Moliné. They developed a type of biodegradable urn that turns death from a grim affair involving caskets and embalming fluid into one that feeds back into the cycle of life. Their urn will use your cremated remains to grow a tree. Their newest project, Bios Incube puts that urn inside of a handsome vase for the purposes of incubating the tiny sapling.
There’s an another feature that has a dash of transhumanism for additional sci-fi coolness. The Incube comes with a sensor that tracks moisture and ground temperature and will let you know of any needs your tree/loved one may have. The vase is self-watering, as well. You can care for the plant, but it also cares for itself to a degree. It’s like having a roommate powered by a departed soul.
This is part of a trend I’ve noticed recently. I know it’s a trend because the brothers have a neologism for it, “naturalment” (natural + internment, get it?). You may have seen this idea floating around on Facebook. It began with special pods that placed a body underneath a sapling. If I had to choose between the former and Bios, I’d go with Bios because the aesthetics are a little more austere. I can get behind the poetry of the pods, but something about them seems off. They look like the cotton candy cocoons in Killer Clowns from Outer Space.
Dark humor aside, I’m intrigued by a concept that keeps the dead present. Conventional funerals involve leaving your loved one at the edge of town, only to be visited whenever you have the time to put fresh flowers on their grave. The techy angle on this probably has some legs. The sensor, in a way, becomes the voice of the deceased. What else can one do with that idea? The BBC sci-fi series Black Mirror approached this with a real bummer of an episode, but it’s inevitable that our rituals surrounding death will change as a generation of computer programmers and Internet junkies gets older. What else could be on the way?
Bill Rodgers is the Managing Editor of cfile.daily.
What do you think of this techy use of contemporary ceramics? Let us know in the comments.