Abstract

The article examines two works by the design partnership, Augur–Loizeau: the Afterlife project and the Carnivorous Domestic Entertainment Robots project. Understood as critical and speculative designs, these artifacts are used to reveal some of the prevailing differences in western conceptions of human and nonhuman death. Each of these designs raises “interesting questions” about, for example, the relationship between energy scarcity and entertainment, or the difference between human organ donation and human energy donation. In addition, the article examines how, taken together, these designs reproduce and reinforce western understandings of the differences between human subjects and animal objects. The article argues that the comparison between—and especially the “crossing over” of elements of—the Afterlife project and Carnivorous Domestic Entertainment Robots heuristically can facilitate speculation on the blurring and transformation of human/animal divides. In the process, it offers a number of speculations that draw on, link into, and affect social scientific accounts of post-humanism and neoliberalism.

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