Amazon funeral: Click and pay your respects

A 3D Illustration that I made for a Fine Art module, in which we were briefed to look at digital culture and the internet. It was Christmas time, and I was feeling cynical about Amazon’s new television adverts, as well as the heightened commercialism which seems to occur each year. This work represents lots of ideas and questions:

  • What does the rise of Amazon mean for our independent shops and high streets? Will they eventually die, so we only have online shopping and out of town retail parks?
  • Why is Jeff Bezos the world’s richest man – a trillionaire?! – yet his staff are paid barely over minimum wage, report poor working conditions, and are often injured at work? Amazon have the means to set an example and create a great company to work for – why has Jeff Bezos chosen not to?
  • Commercialism sells the prospect of eternal life through just one more purchase…but truly, we cannot take the stuff we’re marketed with us when we die. Would an Amazon funeral arrange for us to be buried with all the purchases we made with them? Would they matter to us when faced with death?
  • Shopping with Amazon is faceless and automated. We’re not told the name of the worker who has picked and packed our item. Has a human worker even overseen this, or a robot?
  • Amazon sell broccoli on their website. Why? If they sell broccoli, an item being perfectly catered for by markets, greengrocers and supermarkets, what’s to stop them eventually setting up a faceless funeral business – it doesn’t seem so far fetched to me.
  • I’m imagining ‘Click and pay your respects’ funerals, and ‘burial lockers’…

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