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We tried to message the dead first, but they were ghosting us.10 Voice messages 给 Lebende und Tote

We tried to message the dead first, but they were ghosting us.
10 Voice messages 给 Lebende und Tote

Audio Walk

Yinfu Gao
Judith Bethke
Jannis Wulle

Our work on cemeteries and their significance towards the living and the dead started separated. Upon realising the same subject of our work, our different viewpoints on cemeteries became the key feature of our work together as we tried to look at cemeteries through even more lenses. 

Yinfu worked on epitaphs, online funerals in the times of corona and never ending deadlines. 

Judith worked on the capitalism history of the graveyard, the dystopian idea of the graveyard as a city regulated by the housing market, the utopian fantasy of the Totentanz as an emancipation movement of the (un)dead and on the question of how to investigate ghosts as social figures.
Jannis worked on grave flowers as historical subjects, the cemetery as a heterotopos and the idea of a lo-fi hip hop Totentanz.


We started with wandering in the cemetery, when plenty of questions appeared in our mind: Who are the witnesses of our grief? What happens if we don’t have the chance to say goodbye? Is there a life after death in digital data? When we look closely, what does the graveyard tell us about power? How expensive is dying? Where do deadlines begin and where do they end? Who puts flowers on a flower’s grave? How to interview a ghost? What do we die for? What do we want the after world to think that we were dying for? What do all those questions sound like? How do the dead feel about this? What are their needs? What are they angry about, what are they craving for? For whom does the cemetery exist - the deceased or the living? And: whom to ask such questions? And how? 

We came up with the idea of creating an audiowalk around the graveyard consisting of voice messages in order to communicate - or trying to communicate - with both the living and the dead. The form of a non-linear audiowalk was quickly chosen to underline the equality of the different viewpoints. To incorporate the audience and to really let them feel the space we decided on voluntary tasks to encourage the audiences to perceive the graveyard in an alternative way. In this work, spectators are free to create their very own experience through the audiowalk: they can control not only the order and selection of content but also their own walking speed; they can take a break or even take off their headphones to enjoy the natural soundscape, which is a significant auditiv background during the messages as well.

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