Euthanasia Coaster (2010) is a hypothetic euthanasia machine in the form of a roller coaster, engineered to humanely – with elegance and euphoria – take the life of a human being.
Riding the coaster’s track, the rider is subjected to a series of intensive motion elements that induce various unique experiences: from euphoria to thrill, and from tunnel vision to loss of consciousness, and, eventually, death. Thanks to the marriage of the advanced cross-disciplinary research in aeronautics/space medicine, mechanical engineering, material technologies and, of course, gravity, the fatal journey is made pleasing, elegant and meaningful. Celebrating the limits of the human body, this ‘kinetic sculpture’ is in fact the ultimate roller coaster: John Allen, former president of the famed Philadelphia Toboggan Company, once said that “the ultimate roller coaster is built when you send out twenty-four people and they all come back dead. This could be done, you know.”
“Euthanasia Coaster” is nothing but a falling trajectory, curved and tangled in such a way that would leave nobody apathetic, neither the passenger,nor the spectator. Where it lands to it is up to the public to decide. It is a prop for non-existent horror movie, a real fiction, a black humour scenography, social sci-fi design, the world’s most extreme ride, a mourning sculpture, a monument for the end of the carousel evolution, a gravitational weapon, the very last trip…
Since its presentation to the public, the project has become a unique media phenomenon. It has drawn enormous attention from the public and received extremely extensive coverage from international media. The content and form of the feedback ranged from special TV shows, dedicated songs, a film script, a series of virtual replications, a project for school science fair, and a tattoo to knee-jerk online comments and thorough expert discussions. The project was awarded the Public Prize of New Technological Art of Update 2013, Ghent, Belgium.
„This brings a whole new meaning to the term ‘killer coaster’.“
— Chris Talbot, Boingboing.com, 2011.
„I would love it if the seats were empty when the train returns. You know, it catapults you to another dimension.“
— Vincent Wikström, 2011.
“Dying like a screaming clown…”
— Ross Noble, QI, BB Two, 2012.
“Oh no, I think it sounds like a horrible way to go, and after reading this I may never really enjoy riding roller coasters.“
— Deborah Anne Hart , Discovery.com, 2014.
„If I were terminally ill, I’d definetly want to this way…and make sure they have a picture station along the tracks so the family has something to remember you by.“
— Doledart, Io9.com, 2011.
“I can hack it with g-trouses that prevent the pilots from such centrifugal forces, and make it the world’s most extreme ride!”
— A pilot, Science Gallery, Dublin, 2011.
“Curiously, it does work as provocation, regardless of intent. So be it. ”
— Antonio Damasio, “Design and Violence,” MoMA, 2014.