Triple Canopy is pleased to present a screening of Children Who Won’t Die (2010). Directed by Nobu Yamaoka and scored by composer Keiichiro Shibuya, the documentary is a meditation on the work of Japanese artist Arakawa and his efforts, with his wife and creative partner Madeline Gins, to “reverse destiny” and free humanity from the necessity of death.
Arakawa, who died in 2010, and Gins, who died in 2014, advocated for their singular vision of immortality through works of visual art, philosophical and poetic writings, and architecture. Considering the lived environment to be of the utmost importance to their project, the duo designed housing using esoteric principles they called “architectural procedures,” such as “biotopological scale-juggling” and “tentativeness cradling.” The resulting spaces are meant to simultaneously expand inhabitants’ physical capacities and challenge their intransigent modes of thought. As Arakawa and Gins write in Making Dying Illegal (2006), living in such a “tactically posed surround/tutelary abode” is “an all-out effort to go on living,” and, in their view, an ethical mandate for all of humanity.
Juxtaposing the duo’s utopic transhumanism with quotidian reality, the film intersperses talks and lectures by Arakawa with depictions of life in the first permanently habitable work of procedural architecture: the Reversible Destiny Lofts, built in Mitaka, Tokyo, in 2005. Living in kaleidoscopic apartments with spherical rooms, undulating pebble floors, and doorless toilets, the lofts’ tenants lose weight, see long-lost friends in their dreams, and develop stronger arches in their feet—all while pondering whether the architecture will truly enable them to live forever, as Arakawa and Gins propose.
Children Who Won’t Die is part of Triple Canopy’s Vanitas issue, which explores contemporary meditations on mortality as well as the delights, delusions, and pressures of fleshly existence. The issue will also include an essay on the anti-death architecture of Arakawa and Gins by Triple Canopy senior editor Matthew Shen Goodman and Lucy Ives. The film is in Japanese with English subtitles, and will be introduced by Shen Goodman.
Seating is on a first-come, first-served basis. In order to ensure that events are accessible and comfortable, we’ll open the doors at 6:30 p.m. and strictly limit admittance to our legal capacity. Please check Triple Canopy’s Facebook and Twitter accounts for updates, as we’ll indicate if events are sold out.
Triple Canopy’s venue is located at 264 Canal Street, 3W, near several Canal Street subway stations. Our floor is accessible by elevator (63" × 60" car, 31" door) and stairway. Due to the age and other characteristics of the building, our bathrooms are not ADA-accessible, though several such bathrooms are located nearby. If you have specific questions about access, please write at least three days before the event and we will make every effort to accommodate you.