My island is inspired on the values of the Slow Food Movement. It is a nature-friendly civilization based on the joy of life. To question the relationship between the value of experiences and death I created the “memento gaudium”.
Every newborn is attached a “memento gaudium” connected to their spine cord. The device registers the amount of joyful experiences and this data is visualized through the bloom of a flower. Once a person accumulates the established record of happiness the device releases a poison that stops its heartbeat. Burials become a celebration of the journey through happiness.
The concept is linked to an Epicureanism conception of pleasure. The visualization of life expiration is a reminder to enjoy their everyday lives. But what are the effects of qualitative measurement of time? Would habitants prefer to live short and blissful or long and sad lives? Can you murder someone by making them laugh?
What in the world should we care for if it’s not our lives, the only gift the Lord never offers us a second time?”
— Marcel Proust, Swann’s Way