900 Skulls and the Universal Future

“A great science fiction detective story” – Ian Watson, author of The Universal Machine
Luck and Death at the Edge of the World

Days until the election: 70

If you want to immerse yourself in a future Mexico (and Los Angeles), click on the Luck & Death banner above to order a special edition of the novel at the regular retail price of $5.00. 

Free sample chapters are available, as is an MP3 sample chapter for your iPod or other device, so you can try before you buy.

Death has a longstanding place in the art and religion of Mexico. But it´s relevant here in an over-arching sense because — unless the Transhumanists are right and we start uploading into synthetic bodies — death is the future.

From “Tzompantli Mayor”

From “Tzompantli Mayor”

It is the fate that lies at the end of the road for each individual, for every culture, and eventually, in five billion years or so when the sun expands to engulf the earth, death will even take the planet.

So given that this page is devoted to the future as seen through the lens of Mexico, and given that I have a special weakness for the arts — I am an admitted gallery junkie who does not even want to be cured of my addiction — it makes sense to take a moment to discuss a new exhibit at the Fundación Sebastian in Mexico City by artist Manuel Marin which consists of nine hundred skulls made of paper, wood and metal.

From “Tzompantli Mayor”

From “Tzompantli Mayor”

Fox News Latino reports Marin as saying “In popular Mexican culture there is an almost constant reference to death, I’d say it’s an almost everyday sight, and as for me, ever since I was in school I’ve been fascinated by the skull motif,”

FNL describes the exhibit:

The work of installation art entitled “Tzompantli Mayor,” on show at the Sebastian Foundation, is an allusion to the altar made of human heads that the Mexicas customarily built as a means of leading martyrs to their meeting with the gods.

“The ‘Tzompantli’ was an altar where the skulls of sacrificed warriors were placed to honor the gods, and was the most striking evidence of the politico-religious control the Mexicas exercised” over other indigenous peoples, the artist told Efe.

From “Tzompantli Mayor”

From “Tzompantli Mayor”

Despite their large number, each skull is entirely unique:

To make sure that each piece would be different, the artist created 25 basic structures of different volumes and dimensions, and of each of those fashioned numerous variations.

The exhibition has two basic elements – skulls made of cut-outs or bas-reliefs on the wall impaled on wooden sticks, and others of metal or paper on the floor, which reproduces the platform where the sacrifices were performed.

From “Tzompantli Mayor”

From “Tzompantli Mayor”

You can find a report in español from proceso.com.mx here.

You can also watch a nice little video of the exhibit, which is enitrely silent until the interview with the artist at the end, here.  The embed code wouldn´t work, but you really shouldn´t miss this brief video, so click through.

Manuel Marin being interviewed in the video with a link above.

Manuel Marin being interviewed in the video with a link above.

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