9 May 2024
Death and Virtual Mourning. The “Return of the Dead” in Digital Afterlife

Maria Serafini

12 June 2024
2023/24 /ɪˈməːʃən/
111
Faraway, So Close! Bridging distances between Anthropological Philosophy and Media Anthropology

Martino Quadrato

21 May 2024
2023/24 /ɪˈməːʃən/
111
Difficult Heritage: disputed figures in contemporary memorial museums

Giulia Bertolazzi

21 May 2024
2023/24 /ɪˈməːʃən/
111
“Antimonumenta”: artistic practice in feminist Mexico

Francesca Romana Gregori

7 May 2024
2023/24 /ɪˈməːʃən/
111
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Katia Mazzucco

16 April 2024
2023/24 /ɪˈməːʃən/
111
Education meets Virtual Reality. Reasoning on learning outcomes, inclusion and didactic scenarios

Ilaria Terrenghi

4 April 2024
2023/24 /ɪˈməːʃən/
111
Rape or “rape”? Virtual violence and the somatechnical body

Pietro Conte

26 March 2024
2023/24 /ɪˈməːʃən/
111
Chiromorphisms. The technical genesis of modern disability

Alessandro Costella

15 February 2024
2023/24 /ɪˈməːʃən/
111
The Obscene Device. Archaeology of Immersive Pornographies

Roberto Malaspina

1 February 2024
2023/24 /ɪˈməːʃən/
111
Techniques of Enchantment. Magic and Contemporary Technology

Sofia Pirandello

25 January 2024
2023/24 /ɪˈməːʃən/
111
Alternative Worlds – VR without Headsets

Margherita Fontana

11 January 2024
2023/24 /ɪˈməːʃən/
111
A world of imprints. The epistemology of visual evidence in digital and virtual media-ecologies

Rosa Cinelli

21 December 2023
2023/24 /ɪˈməːʃən/
111
FEMINIST HORROR THEORY – Filmic Forms and Female Identity: Rewriting in the Key of Gender

Rossana Galimi

5 December 2023
2023/24 /ɪˈməːʃən/
111
From Photography to Virtual Reality and back again. A conversation with Francesco Jodice

Francesco Jodice

20 November 2023
2023/24 /ɪˈməːʃən/
111
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Ilaria Ampollini

9 November 2023
2023/24 /ɪˈməːʃən/
111
The burning gaze. An aesthetics of shame in the age of the virtual

Federica Cavaletti

2 November 2023
2023/24 /ɪˈməːʃən/
111
Forms of the intermediary: spatiality and durations between technology and aesthetics

Neda Zanetti

12 October 2023
2023/24 /ɪˈməːʃən/
111
Virtualizing Spaces: Immersive and Emersive Images from Home to City.

Fabrizia Bandi

28 September 2023
2022/23 Practices
108
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27 September 2023
2022/23 Multisensoriality
104
Immersive Rhythms, Dismersive Images: On Music Video’s Affective Atmosphere

Tomáš Jirsa

18 May 2023
2022/23 Multisensoriality
104
Spatialization of Sound

Markus Ophälders

research: Seminar

2023/24 /ɪˈməːʃən/
111

Death and Virtual Mourning. The “Return of the Dead” in Digital Afterlife

Maria Serafini
From “As I Lay Dead” directed by Simone Salomoni, produced by Vitruvio Virtual Reality

In Death and Ritual Mourning (1958), the Italian anthropologist Ernesto de Martino argues that the purpose of funeral rites is to culturally mediate the problem of the relationship between the living and the dead. The question of the return of the dead refers, on the one hand, to the negotiation of new forms of presence of the dead in the spaces of the living and, on the other hand, to the consequent perception by the living of their own mortality. In the words of Philippe Ariès, the "death of the other" refers to "one's own death". The return of the dead, a typical theme of funerary cultures, takes on a new centrality in digital reconfigurations of the nexus that has historically and conceptually linked the image to death. Not only does the overlap between ordinary contexts and the digital afterlife produce a return of the dead in everyday life, opening up new configurations of the memento mori. But also the everyday practice of leaving traces represents the progressive construction of what we will be digitally when we are dead. The new techniques of image-making, which offer the possibility of new kinds of iconic and social presence, seem to constitute contemporary technologies of absence that inherit the cultural function of mediating the experience of death and the expression of mourning. From this point of view, the “digital afterlife” also has another meaning: the Nachleben of images - to quote Aby Warburg. Indeed, the phenomena of digital commemoration call for research that reconnects virtual realities with a tradition of practices and images of mourning that seem to be revived and given new life. Are these images themselves revenants from the afterlife? 

Biography

Maria Serafini

Maria Serafini graduated in Philosophy at the University of Rome La Sapienza in 2016. She subsequently obtained a Masters' degree in Cognitive Sciences and a Masters' degree in Philosophical Sciences from Roma Tre University. Since 2018, she has taken interest in phenomena related to digital death and immortality, developing two dissertations proceeding from Ernesto de Martino’s anthropological and philosophical reflections on mourning rituals. She is currently a PhD student within AN-ICON ERC advanced program, researching emerging visual and multimedia mourning practices in the subcultural contexts of virtual environments such as social networks, employing de Martino’s framework.

research: seminar

Death and Virtual Mourning. The “Return of the Dead” in Digital Afterlife

Maria Serafini
From “As I Lay Dead” directed by Simone Salomoni, produced by Vitruvio Virtual Reality

In Death and Ritual Mourning (1958), the Italian anthropologist Ernesto de Martino argues that the purpose of funeral rites is to culturally mediate the problem of the relationship between the living and the dead. The question of the return of the dead refers, on the one hand, to the negotiation of new forms of presence of the dead in the spaces of the living and, on the other hand, to the consequent perception by the living of their own mortality. In the words of Philippe Ariès, the "death of the other" refers to "one's own death". The return of the dead, a typical theme of funerary cultures, takes on a new centrality in digital reconfigurations of the nexus that has historically and conceptually linked the image to death. Not only does the overlap between ordinary contexts and the digital afterlife produce a return of the dead in everyday life, opening up new configurations of the memento mori. But also the everyday practice of leaving traces represents the progressive construction of what we will be digitally when we are dead. The new techniques of image-making, which offer the possibility of new kinds of iconic and social presence, seem to constitute contemporary technologies of absence that inherit the cultural function of mediating the experience of death and the expression of mourning. From this point of view, the “digital afterlife” also has another meaning: the Nachleben of images - to quote Aby Warburg. Indeed, the phenomena of digital commemoration call for research that reconnects virtual realities with a tradition of practices and images of mourning that seem to be revived and given new life. Are these images themselves revenants from the afterlife? 

9 May 2024
14:00
16:00

Sala Martinetti

Università degli Studi di Milano

Via Festa del Perdono, 7

Death and Virtual Mourning. The “Return of the Dead” in Digital Afterlife
Maria Serafini
Sala Martinetti
Università degli Studi di Milano
Via Festa del Perdono, 7
20240509
14:00
16:00