The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living

2d: Damien Hirst | 3d: Ina Centaur

Like its RL grandfather, this virtual version did not actually create the submerged shark, but illustrates a profound conceptualization; in this case, it is an interactive extension, where the viewer can either join or replace the shark (by taking a copy of the tank) in “suspended death.” The shark was a L$300 no—copy prefab created by TomHa Zymurgy; analogously, the RL shark was also a no—copy and about £30,000 created by “God” (or evolution – basically, available and obtainable at a price, readymade art in its own natural way).

I've never actually seen this in RL (I was too young and too far away when it went on display in the US), so I'm basing the interactive replica on the few photos that can be found on the net (generally just the front photo) and dimensions. I've also never seen a huge vat of formaldehyde, so perhaps the residue is not quite the right color. But, the point is, the physical impossibility of someone seeing such a contraption and then – clicking – joining in the display – their own bodies submerged in the azure formaldehyde – may perhaps render this a physical possibility of witnessing one's suspension and iconification in death.

In a virtual world, an artist has the leisure to gut a readymade object without the blood and gore; that's exactly what I did in preparing the shark to fit in the tank. It originally came in a scripted two—prim setup, where the shark was set to llTargetOmega rotate around the center prim. In its default state, the shark was untextured and it looked quite weird. To get it to look like a shark, you have to set a speed (and size) and press “Go” before the script rezzes the shark animation sculpt texture at the right frequency, and texture at the right size, to produce a thing that looks like the shark you see in the tank. Next, you gut the scripts, click and drag them out of the prim inventory. This can all be done without external tools, within the “confines” of the world of Second Life, as of 10/2/2008.

In fact, you can take the piece home with you—although, some assembly is required. You can grab a copy of the tank for free. And a copy of the shark from its creator. Follow the steps above to put the shark in the tank! The catch is that you have to capture and de—gut it – but it's figuratively and without any blood and gore, really!


Cite: Primtings Museum. "The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living". Accessed online October 7, 2022 10:21:01 +00:00UTC. <>





























© 2008-2009 Primtings Museum by Ina Centaur, individual pieces attributed to each corresponding artist