Mixed Media: An Elegy

The preserved body of Andy Warhol stands at the entrance of the MIT Media Lab. Following instructions in his will, Andy was embalmed with neon, a gas that is inert and suitable for mummification. When Andy is plugged in, his fair skin glows with the surprisingly numerous colors of human tissue.

Barney the dinosaur cannot be killed. Occassionally, parents, driven mad by his show, run up onto the soundstage and shoot him. But three days later, Barney is back, taping another show.

The centerpiece of the Museum of Polar Exploration at Amundsen Station, Queen Maud Land, Antarctica, is a glass corridor surrounding a frozen outdoor atrium with statues of the fearless explorer Robert Scott (1868-1912) and four comrades. The statues are the remains of the men themselves, frozen in their tracks.

Singapore is famous for its cemetery housed in a skyscraper. But people are now afraid to walk through the cemetery. Too often were they frightened by sudden fanfares of the motion-activated video tombstones.

In a cathedral in St. Petersburg, an elderly couple applauds the tomb of dancer Vaslav Nijinsky in the middle of the night. Another small group, bundled against the harsh weather, enters the sanctuary and begins to applaud. After a moment, the first couple departs. Since Nijinsky’s death during the dark days of Stalin, a continuous procession of fans has visited the tomb and applauded, every second of every day, hoping the master dancer can be persuaded to return for an encore.

A fighter jet is vaporized by a particle beam. Its differently colored component molecules arc to the ground at slightly differing rates, creating a rainbow on a cloudless day.