Jade Milan  

Interactive Designer, Art Director + Artist

Work      About    Research

Algorithmically staging the decomposition of a carcass. “Whale fall” is an event of a dying whale sinking to the bottom of the sea. His demise becomes an important part of life because his remains become a natural environment for nutrients to grow and benefit other animals and organisms.

There are different kinds of rituals and processes that occur when a species dies. by Looking at how natural deaths can become part of a rebirth process for other living species, nature constantly gives afterlives for the deaths of animals, trees, and even man made structures. the site of loss of life become a home or a source of food for an environment to live and allow rapid growth for other life to continue.

As the animal dies, you begin to see the process of “Whale Fall” where the activity of different kinds of other scaled species come to feed off of the animal. The whale becomes a natural structure that unpredictable changes over time depending on the new environment that latches onto the site and responds to what activities and resources are needed.
Artificial Intelligence
Design Research 

Architectural Embodiment

Adobe After Effects
Adobe Premiere

With the virtual perspective of seeing the stages of decomposition and the beginning cycles of new life, The viewer is able to explore the artificial life and self-behavior of other organisms interacting in an environment. Based on the actual “Whale Fall” and a real life scale of a whale, the viewer has a closer look at the other species and organisms that are smaller or not visible to human sight. by being able to zoom in on the bottom of the ocean and view the burial grounds, the viewer has the ability to observe the mysterious processes of organism growth.

Illustrating a story of one of nature’s rituals shows how a system works among other organisms in an environment through algorithmic media, such as processing. You are able to see how the behavior of organisms and their interactions, and how they affect the things that are left behind. the project exposes the negative connotations of death and even pollution as processes that can develop into positive outcomes in our environment. Nature’s Rituals gives viewers the opportunity to think uniquely about death and waste as a process of renewal and beneficial growth.

The project asks the following questions 

In what ways can we allow nature to use our bodies to become something else without polluting ourselves that becomes a waste to the environment?

In what ways can we deal with ‘the unknown’ – something that simply cannot be modeled and programmed into mechanical systems?
My design research process helped form this project’s perspective of giving new perspective and meaning to the idea of an afterlife and how I could visualize the end of a cycle and be able to visualize the end of a cycle as a new beginning for something else. Using the metaphor of a “Whale Fall”, I was able to see how its death became a new structure that enriched its environment. Overall, it is interesting for me to see how nature takes its course without the intervention of man.

Looking at the whale fall or a tree falling is a poetic look on death. Although the experience of the deaths is quite become alive then lifeless. I find it interesting to think about the different rituals that cultures take part in. Although a whale fall is not a religious ritual it is intriguing that it becomes a system used in nature. Thinking about if humans can use their body after death to become a source of a rebirth for other organisms. How can our bodies become a source of energy or a structure?

Dumping in the ocean:
Marine creatures and plants bear the brunt of the harmful substances from the dumped materials. A terrible act of pollution, but the truth is something much more beautiful. By being able to create a man-made, underwater structure, an artificial reef is typically built for the purpose of promoting marine life in areas of generally featureless bottom. Artificial reefs may also serve to improve hydrodynamics for surfing or to control beach erosion.

Subway Cars Being Dumped Into the Ocean

© Jade Milan 2021