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  • So I'm here to explain

  • why I'm wearing these ninja pajamas.

  • And to do that, I'd like to talk first

  • about environmental toxins in our bodies.

  • So some of you may know

  • about the chemical Bisphenol A, BPA.

  • It's a material hardener and synthetic estrogen

  • that's found in the lining of canned foods

  • and some plastics.

  • So BPA mimics the body's own hormones

  • and causes neurological and reproductive problems.

  • And it's everywhere.

  • A recent study found BPA

  • in 93 percent of people six and older.

  • But it's just one chemical.

  • The Center for Disease Control in the U.S.

  • says we have 219 toxic pollutants in our bodies,

  • and this includes preservatives, pesticides

  • and heavy metals like lead and mercury.

  • To me, this says three things.

  • First, don't become a cannibal.

  • Second, we are both responsible for and the victims of

  • our own pollution.

  • And third,

  • our bodies are filters and storehouses

  • for environmental toxins.

  • So what happens to all these toxins when we die?

  • The short answer is:

  • They return to the environment in one way or another,

  • continuing the cycle of toxicity.

  • But our current funeral practices

  • make the situation much worse.

  • If you're cremated,

  • all those toxins I mentioned are released into the atmosphere.

  • And this includes 5,000 pounds of mercury

  • from our dental fillings alone every year.

  • And in a traditional American funeral,

  • a dead body is covered with fillers and cosmetics

  • to make it look alive.

  • It's then pumped with toxic formaldehyde

  • to slow decomposition --

  • a practice which causes respiratory problems and cancer

  • in funeral personnel.

  • So by trying to preserve our dead bodies,

  • we deny death, poison the living

  • and further harm the environment.

  • Green or natural burials, which don't use embalming,

  • are a step in the right direction,

  • but they don't address the existing toxins in our bodies.

  • I think there's a better solution.

  • I'm an artist,

  • so I'd like to offer a modest proposal

  • at the intersection

  • of art, science and culture.

  • The Infinity Burial Project,

  • an alternative burial system

  • that uses mushrooms

  • to decompose and clean toxins in bodies.

  • The Infinity Burial Project

  • began a few years ago with a fantasy

  • to create the Infinity Mushroom --

  • a new hybrid mushroom

  • that would decompose bodies, clean the toxins

  • and deliver nutrients to plant roots,

  • leaving clean compost.

  • But I learned it's nearly impossible

  • to create a new hybrid mushroom.

  • I also learned

  • that some of our tastiest mushrooms

  • can clean environmental toxins in soil.

  • So I thought maybe I could train an army

  • of toxin-cleaning edible mushrooms

  • to eat my body.

  • So today, I'm collecting what I shed or slough off --

  • my hair, skin and nails --

  • and I'm feeding these to edible mushrooms.

  • As the mushrooms grow,

  • I pick the best feeders

  • to become Infinity Mushrooms.

  • It's a kind of imprinting and selective breeding process

  • for the afterlife.

  • So when I die,

  • the Infinity Mushrooms will recognize my body

  • and be able to eat it.

  • All right, so for some of you,

  • this may be really, really out there.

  • (Laughter)

  • Just a little.

  • I realize this is not the kind of relationship

  • that we usually aspire to have with our food.

  • We want to eat, not be eaten by, our food.

  • But as I watch the mushrooms grow

  • and digest my body,

  • I imagine the Infinity Mushroom

  • as a symbol of a new way of thinking about death

  • and the relationship between my body and the environment.

  • See for me,

  • cultivating the Infinity Mushroom

  • is more than just scientific experimentation

  • or gardening or raising a pet,

  • it's a step towards accepting the fact

  • that someday I will die and decay.

  • It's also a step

  • towards taking responsibility

  • for my own burden on the planet.

  • Growing a mushroom is also part of a larger practice

  • of cultivating decomposing organisms

  • called decompiculture,

  • a concept that was developed by an entomologist,

  • Timothy Myles.

  • The Infinity Mushroom is a subset of decompiculture

  • I'm calling body decompiculture and toxin remediation --

  • the cultivation of organisms that decompose

  • and clean toxins in bodies.

  • And now about these ninja pajamas.

  • Once it's completed,

  • I plan to integrate the Infinity Mushrooms into a number of objects.

  • First, a burial suit

  • infused with mushroom spores,

  • the Mushroom Death Suit.

  • (Laughter)

  • I'm wearing the second prototype

  • of this burial suit.

  • It's covered with a crocheted netting

  • that is embedded with mushroom spores.

  • The dendritic pattern you see

  • mimics the growth of mushroom mycelia,

  • which are the equivalent of plant roots.

  • I'm also making a decompiculture kit,

  • a cocktail of capsules

  • that contain Infinity Mushroom spores

  • and other elements

  • that speed decomposition and toxin remediation.

  • These capsules are embedded in a nutrient-rich jelly,

  • a kind of second skin,

  • which dissolves quickly

  • and becomes baby food for the growing mushrooms.

  • So I plan to finish the mushroom and decompiculture kit

  • in the next year or two,

  • and then I'd like to begin testing them,

  • first with expired meat from the market

  • and then with human subjects.

  • And believe it or not,

  • a few people have offered to donate their bodies to the project

  • to be eaten by mushrooms.

  • (Laughter)

  • What I've learned from talking to these folks

  • is that we share a common desire

  • to understand and accept death

  • and to minimize the impact of our death on the environment.

  • I wanted to cultivate this perspective

  • just like the mushrooms,

  • so I formed the Decompiculture Society,

  • a group of people called decompinauts

  • who actively explore their postmortem options,

  • seek death acceptance

  • and cultivate decomposing organisms

  • like the Infinity Mushroom.

  • The Decompiculture Society shares a vision

  • of a cultural shift,

  • from our current culture of death denial and body preservation

  • to one of decompiculture,

  • a radical acceptance of death and decomposition.

  • Accepting death means accepting

  • that we are physical beings

  • who are intimately connected to the environment,

  • as the research on environmental toxins confirms.

  • And the saying goes,

  • we came from dust and will return to dust.

  • And once we understand that we're connected to the environment,

  • we see that the survival of our species

  • depends on the survival of the planet.

  • I believe this is the beginning

  • of true environmental responsibility.

  • Thank you.

  • (Applause)

So I'm here to explain

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B2 H-INT US mushroom infinity burial death body decompose

【TED】Jae Rhim Lee: My mushroom burial suit (Jae Rhim Lee: My mushroom burial suit)

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    Zenn   posted on 2017/02/13
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