One of the only certainties in life is that of death. Yet, it has been subject to far less technical and social (re)evolutions when compared to all the other aspects of modern life. Humans are now experimenting with technologies that allow them to affect and possibly control meteorological phenomena. We wonder if a person could do this not just by their actions, but literally transform themselves into a type of natural spectacle.
Cloud seeding is a way to intentionally modify weather, in an attempt to trigger precipitation from clouds. Rain naturally occurs when water vapour condenses around dust particles in the atmosphere, but some scientists suggest this effect can be artificially instigated by dispersing silver iodide particles within a chosen cloud. Could a person have the option in their final will and testament to radically and ambitiously transform their body into rain using cloud seeding?
I Wish to Be Rain proposes a new ritual: Following a funeral and cremation of a body, the crematorium will give the bereaved an aluminium vessel that contains their loved ones remains and a dormant aerostat. When the family are ready, the encapsulated ashes are sent skywards tethered to a weather balloon, to be dispersed in the macroscopic structure of a cloud. The capsule becomes increasingly pressurised. At the point it reaches the troposphere, the highest point at which clouds form, the capsule bursts, dispersing the ashes into the clouds below. When dispersed into the clouds, the remains get enveloped into a macroscopic structure far beyond the most grandiose human experience. But this is short lived, again they enter the domain of the miniature, falling back to earth as raindrops, before eventually finding their way back into the sea.
Studio PSK, established by Patrick Stevenson- Keating, is a collaborative design studio based in South East London. Work focuses on the changing landscapes within technology, design, science and society. Studio PSK specialises in object orientated speculative design and design fictions.