Define Beauty: Virtual Embalming – NOWNESS

For the latest episode of our hit series Define Beauty––the first in a four-part editorial collaboration with Dazed Beauty––we’ve decided to change things up a bit. Rather than looking at what beauty means today, we’re casting our eyes towards the horizon and asking: how do you want to be remembered forever?

In response to this artist and director Frederik Heyman has created the digital memorial: a way to project ourselves into the distant future and be remembered by generations to come––exactly as we want to be. Using cutting-edge 3D scanning technology, Heyman virtually ’embalmed’ icons Isabelle Huppert, Kim Peers and Michèle Lamy.

“I used photogrammetry (3D scans) to create frozen moments in time,” the Antwerp-based visionary explains. “Digital installations constructed out of relics of the past. This was not only to conserve what once was, but also to recycle the present and attempt to shape the future. These images, whether based on fact or fiction, tell us how people want to remember and be remembered. They expose the desire to overcome time, space and a physical presence.”

“I am mesmerized by the embalming technique mainly used in Puerto Rico in which dead people get to attend and celebrate their own funeral,” he continues. “They are staged as the central guest, in a setting and styling that is considered as a representation of the life of the deceased.”

What emerges are digital ‘wakes’ in which the body, in beautiful, digital repose, will continue beyond our mortal existence.

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