Cemeteries Death + Technology Death + the Web Eco-Death

Future Death. Future Dead Bodies. Future Cemeteries. TEDx Talk by John Troyer

Future Death. Future Dead Bodies. Future Cemeteries
John Troyer, TEDxBristol Talk (September 15, 2012)

On September 15, 2012 I was one of the TEDxBristol speakers. The TEDxBristol 2012 theme was Future Shock, so I took the opportunity to discuss three of my favorite topics: Future Death, Future Dead Bodies, and Future Cemeteries.

The entire TEDx event was organized exceptionally well, and I was impressed by all the speakers. I usually count on at least one speaker who completely blows it and becomes that guy (because it’s almost always one of the male speakers) so that I can be relieved that I wasn’t that guy. But no.

 John Troyer using officially recognizable TED talk hand gestures

John Troyer using officially recognizable TED talk hand gestures

What really stands out for me from the day is the live drawing being done by artist Nat Al-Tahhan as each of us spoke. Nat drew images reflecting our talks, while we spoke, and she nailed the day down. I love the images. You can see them here.

I’m fairly certain that Death Ref readers can determine when I spoke, based only on the drawings.

The video of my talk is now up and you can watch it on YouTube here or above.

Death + Popular Culture Death + Technology Death + the Web

TEDxBristol Talk by Death Ref’s own John Troyer

TEDx Speaker Q&A: Dr John Troyer, Centre for Death and Society, University of Bath
MSHED Bristol (Saturday, September 15, 2012)

A quick post about a TEDxBristol talk that I’m giving on Saturday, September 15 in Bristol. The TEDxBristol theme this year is Future Shock so I’m talking about Future Death * Future Dead Bodies * Future Cemeteries.

My talk could also be called A Brief Review of Hilarious Articles from the Death Reference Desk .

Many thanks to the TEDxBristol organizers for inviting me.

If the talk is uploaded to the interwebs then I’ll post it on the DRD.

Here is my Q&A for the TED organizers.

Where does your story begin?

My story begins in a small town in western Wisconsin. Hudson, Wisconsin. Not much else to say really.


Tell us two quirky things about yourself

My father is funeral director. And even though I’m a person with tattoos, most people would not see me as a tattooed person.


Why did you want to be involved in TEDxBristol?

When TED asks you for a favour, you never say no.


What will you be talking about at TEDxBristol?

Future technologies that will impact death, the dead body, and cemeteries. But my talk is also about how these technologies represent the shock of the old, and are not entirely new.


What would you like people to take away from your talk?

I want people to answer two questions: What do you want done with your body when you die? And, have you explained these wishes to your next-of-kin?


What is your favourite TED talk and why?

Jae Rhim Lee’s Mushroom Burial Suit. Contemporary dead body disposal is entirely about pursuing innovations in human decomposition. Indeed, understanding the dead human body as organic biomass is the future of final disposition technologies.