The Second Burial of Hyman Victor


Cemetary 2.0 is a concept for networked devices that connect burial sites to online memorials for the deceased. The prototype links the gravestone of Hyman Victor, Malkin's great-grandfather, to his surviving Internet presence, including his: Flickr Genealogical Repository, Facebook Memorial Profile, Pedigree Resource File, and Family Tree of the Jewish People entry.

The Cemetery 2.0 device maintains a live satellite Internet connection. Visitors to the physical memorial can view related memorials on the device display, while visitors of any of the online memorials will recognize that their browsing is associated directly with the actual burial site. The Cemetery 2.0 device is connected to Hyman Victor's GEDCOM file. The file includes The Kaddish (the Jewish prayer for the dead) to neutralize an inadvertent posthumous baptism.

The artist compiled his findings about into GEDCOM (the universal file format developed by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, which maintains the largest genealogical database in the world) and uploaded Hyman's GEDCOM to the Pedigree Resource File and The Family Tree of the Jewish People, both of which are based exclusively on GEDCOM. The notion of a digital cemetery, rows of servers in vaults below a mountain in Utah, raises the possibility of combining the electronic burial with its traditional counterpart. In this sense, the project is a step towards the next-generation cemetery—a networked memorial to the electronic record of a man.

Project Created: 
September 2005
People: Elliot Malkin
Research: Urban Research
Project Type: Documentary, Electronics