Wack Immortalist Schemers Scammed by Madoff

Uncomfortable house by Arakawa and Madeline GinsThis must be a prank.

The Wall Street Journal today reports on a couple of “immortalists” whose dreams of living forever were wrecked by Best Scammer Ever Bernard Madoff.

The article contains nary a mention of the words medicine, biotechnology… or even vitamin or nutrient.  The couple, according to WSJ, were going to attain immortality by living in an uncomfortable house (must be a lot of secret immortals out there, particularly in the world’s most impoverished places).

Quoth WSJ

“The pair’s work, based loosely on a movement known as “transhumanism,” is premised on the idea that people degenerate and die in part because they live in spaces that are too comfortable. The artists’ solution: construct abodes that leave people disoriented, challenged and feeling anything but comfortable.

“They build buildings with no doors inside. They place rooms far apart. They put windows near the ceiling or near the floor. Between rooms are sloping, bumpy moonscape-like floors designed to throw occupants off balance. These features, they argue, stimulate the body and mind, thus prolonging life. ‘You become like a baby,’ says Mr. Arakawa…

“A typical apartment has three or four rooms in the shapes of either a cylinder, a cube, or a sphere. Rooms surround a kitchen-living room combination with bumpy, undulating floors and floor-to-ceiling ladders and poles. Dozens of colors, from school-bus yellow to sky blue, cover the walls, ceilings and other surfaces.

At least one tenant says he feels a little younger already. Nobutaka Yamaoka, who moved in with his wife and two children about two years ago, says he has lost more than 20 pounds and no longer suffers from hay fever, though he isn’t sure whether it was cured by the loft.”

I myself have been convinced of my immortality while staring at undulating floors.  But then I slept it off…

The couple — Arakawa and Madeline Gins — are fairly well-known conceptual artists. Alexandra Munroe of the Guggenheim is quoted as saying that “many of their supporters don’t literally accept the couple’s message on immortality but appreciate it in a ‘metaphorical’ way.”


This is conceptual art folks, not someone’s actual dream of immortality.  The WSJ simply did a poor job of framing the story.

Or maybe they were in on the prank.






9 Responses

  1. also in italy we have a similar madoff…

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