I enjoy a good theory, especially one with a little hocus pocus thrown in the mix. Give me an 'Objet d'art' inspired by such theory and I’m a curiously excited girl ….. and that's exactly what Mark Sturkenboom intended.
A beautiful if not arguably sick handcrafted box of keepsakes has been named ’21 grams’ after the theory of 20th-century physician, Dr Duncan McDougall.
Dr McDougall believed that the 'soul' has mass, and when the 'soul' departs the body, so does this mass, leaving the soulless corpse "a soul lighter". To support his hypothesis Dr McDougall weighed 6 patients during the final moments of life and then after passing.
The determination of the 'soul' weighing 21 grams was based on the loss of mass in his first subject at the moment of death.
The now discredited theory has been the inspirational source of many a project including 2003 film ’21 Grams’ starring Sean Penn.
Inspired by a friendship with an elderly lady Mark Sturkenboom set out to create a beautifully hand crafted box of keepsakes, a reminder of your loved one. Incorporating an amplifier for playing music from an iPhone that slots into the base you can listen to the music that once moved you,
A drawer in the base of the box can be used for keepsakes like a handkerchief or small scarf, a scent bottle… a glass dildo encasing 21 grams of the deceased ashes ….
"By bringing different nostalgic moments together like the scent of his perfume, 'their' music, reviving the moment he gave her her first ring, it opens a window to go back to moments of love and intimacy," he said.
For me the definition of ‘Design’ is to create goods or service, to meet a demand, for the benefit of others.
Art, on the other hand is the production of works to satisfy the artists penchant, to be appreciated primarily for their beauty or emotional power.….this leads me to believe that Sturkenboon’s ’21 grams’ is art rather than design.
I would quite happily have such a piece displayed on the coffee table to be discussed and admired, to trigger a conversation and spark a debate.. albeit a constant reminder of the 'old mans' mortality !!
Can you picture the scenario of a slightly technology averse widow asking her grandchild to help her out with her iPod dock, raising the question …. granny what the fuck is that ????