Digital Death

Donate Yourself

Access AR experience here

Donate Yourself is an Augmented Reality experience created by artist Stacey Pitsillides with body>data>space. It blends sound and 3D visuals to spark debates about our organs, tissue and body data, accessed by the public through augmented reality via QR codes.

This work can be encountered in several ways. It will premiere as a walking tour around the Ouseburn Valley area of Newcastle Upon Tyne, UK (29th October - 30th November). There, on this trail of five locations, you will find the Donate Yourself banners and, by scanning the QR codes on these banners with your mobile phone and listening to the audio stories, you will take part in an inspirational journey.

The digital objects that you encounter will be seen through your phone imposed on the landscapes behind and, with the audio in your ears, stories of care, trust, immortality, consent and futures will unfold, exploring the important role our bodies play in scientific discovery.

Each experience questions how we see our body after death; as a collective source of knowledge for humanity, as a material to explore our biological make up, or even as a way of immortalising ourselves in cells.

These AR sound and visual objects examine diverse perspectives on what donating parts of yourself mean to different people. See lungs breathing posthumous digital data, view eyes blooming up above us and neurons radiating from a petri dish, hear the unfolding audio stories as you walk, imposed on the real world around you.

What role can our bodies play in scientific discovery? Could we see ourselves as a collection of cells? Does donating organs or tissue make you immortal?

This sci-art project shares artistic interpretations of scientific imagery with the audience, from interviews with experts from the Human Cell Atlas research initiative and visual/written data from a series of artists workshops which are expanded through this unique digital experience. Gathered from a range of communities Stacey Pitsillides and body>data>space have created this Augmented Reality experience to help us all consider the legacy of our bodies in this digital age.

You can walk this trail yourself (Map) or sign up here for a guided tour on November 21st of this through the Ouseburn Valley in Newcastle:

Donate Yourself will also be available at specific locations in London (Map), Cambridge (Map) and Oxford (Map) throughout November where you will be able to interact with AR experience - please see for further details.

Donate Yourself by Stacey Pitsillides with body>data>space (2021). A One Cell at a Time commission with the Human Cell Atlas research initiative: Designed and creatively directed by Stacey Pitsillides in collaboration with the interaction design collective body>data>space.

The digital Augmented Reality experience has been co-created with the body>data>space team using the b>d>s AR development project: Ghislaine Boddington (Creative Co-Direction), Tadej Vindis (Project Development and Production), Nick Rothwell (Sound Design and Technical Development) and Ivor Diosi (AR Development and 3D Animation). With research and insights from Holly Standing and Luke Sellers. Donate Yourself is produced for One Cell at a Time by Dominic Smith.

Donate Yourself is created as part of the AR Gifting Development Project at body>data>space, supported by Innovate UK and the University of Greenwich (2021-22).

One Cell at a Time is a programme of public, creative engagement activities, commissions and talks, inspired by the Human Cell Atlas, bringing together arts and communities, patients and researchers. Funded by Wellcome and led by the Wellcome Sanger Institute, One Cell at a Time aims to deepen public understanding of the revolutionary impact it will have on our understanding of the human body.