A day in the death of Ron Vibeke Mascini


On YouTube, Vibeke Mascini found the recording ‘Ron’s last breath’. This recording lasts 17 seconds and has no video images. We can hear the last breath – also called death rattle – of a man called Ron. Making one of the most intimate moments in someone’s life (dying) public has a rather eerie connotation, but it can also be seen as the desperate attempt of the person who uploaded the recording to postpone the end. When users of YouTube stream this clip, Ron’s last breath is extended and continues to exist until after his death. Mascini made a calculation to decide on the duration of this audio work of art – which is a loop of the recording. She calculated how often the recording had been listened to since it had been uploaded.

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