Facebook for the dead

The Traveling Cloud Museum
USA (New York)

Hart Island lies to the east of New York City and is the largest tax-funded mass cemetery in the world. A pauper’s gravesite run by the NYC Department of Correction, for centuries it has been the final resting place for those who die poor, homeless or unclaimed. The Traveling Cloud Museum, founded by Melinda Hunt, lets people search over 65,000 records to find their their loved one and add their story.

The project combines new technologies and storytelling to create an open resource. People with limited means have access to technology and information without hassle or cost. GPS technology, digital search functions and interactive mapping allows users to find their relatives as well as locate their gravesites. Hunt calls the project a “social network for the dead”.

The scratched outcrop has homed New York’s displaced and dispossessed for over 160 years; first a burial ground for slaves, later for troops during the civil war, and in the 1980s New York’s first AIDS victims were buried here. It is a repository for American history, telling the stories of those hidden groups and individuals who have existed beyond the fringes of society.

A sort of ‘open source cemetery’, the Traveling Cloud Museum sets a new standard for future commemorative projects. With visual art and storytelling at its heart, the project shapes a future built on transparency and equality for generations to come.

Image: screenshot from the Traveling Cloud Museum © 2014 The Hart Island Project

Submitted by

Lauren Burrows, Writer/ Researcher, Atlas of the Future (06 August 2015)

Project leader

Melinda Hunt, Founder, Hart Island Project

Inmates pause during adult burials. Photograph: Joel Sternfeld/The Hart Island Project © 1992

Vicky Pavia visiting Hart Island on the 40th Anniversary of her infant daughter Denise's birth Photograph: Joel Sternfeld/The Hart Island Project © 1994

Creative Commons License

Comments

 

What?
Project Topics
Other Topics
Close
Take me somewhere
Close
Take me somewhere
Close
Data Protection Act: LOPD.
In compliance with Organic Law 15/1999, of 13 of December, on Personal Data Protection, and the development of Rules of Procedure, approved by Royal Decree 1720/2007, of 21 of December, Atlas of the Future subscribers may be required to provide Personal Data, which will be included in a file owned by Democratizing The Future Society SL. Such file is duly incorporated in the Spanish Data Protection Agency and protected in compliance with the security measures established in the applicable legislation. Subscribers may exercise, at any time, their rights of access, rectification, cancellation and/or opposal regarding their Personal Data. The subscriber shall notice their will, either under written form addressed to Democratizing The Future Society SL, Ref. LOPD, Calabria, 10 6-3 08015 - Barcelona (Spain) and/or by e-mail, clicking here. Also, the subscriber shall communicate Atlas of the Future any modifications of their Personal Data stored, so that the information stored by Atlas of the Future remains at all times updated and error-free
Close