Interstellar Return
Art, Death & Disposal
Death Tech Research Group
University of Melbourne, Naarm

Interstellar Return, which operates as an investigation, presentation and documentation of a more-than-human (re)performance. Developed over a period of 12 months, Interstellar Return has seen us employ the services of an interstellar funereal service in returning a meteorite to space. The resultant exhibition brings together ephemera, documentation and recontextualised material in an investigation of mourning, flight and transit, read across frames of human and more-than-human matter and mattering. In reckoning with quantum entanglement and shared matter through the cosmic and lithic, we performed a funeral service for our meteorite, acknowledging the agential nature of the geologic, and matter within and beyond our Earthly frames. In doing so, we enter into a theoretical space which presents anew the vibrancy of matter, extending an ethics of care beyond the frame of the human, and toward the afterlife.

This work was developed for the exhibition Art, Death & Disposal, supported by the Death Tech Research Team, in response to the provocation: how might disposal of the deceased be designed in the 21st century? Imagining beyond burial and cremation – in a world of rapid social, technological and environmental change – seven artists respond to this question, presenting moving and provocative new work.