Murray Ballard

Freezing your body in the hope of an eternal life once thawed? ‘Cryonicists’ count on technology developing in that direction. Worldwide there are two thousand people on a waiting list to be frozen. Murray Ballard (United Kingdom) portrayed them and asked what they would want to bring to a next life. You decide whether this is science fiction or reality.

The Prospect of Immortality

While backpacking in France, the then 22-year old Murray Ballard (United Kingdom, 1983) visited the castle of Dr. Raymond and Monique Martinot, the first French couple who opted to be frozen. But, their freezer broke and with it their dream of an eternal life. Their house looked exactly as they left it in 1984. Even the empty freezer was still there.

It was the start of a ten year inquiry into ‘cryonicists’: people who have their bodies frozen, hoping technology will grant them eternal life when they awaken. Ballard named his project after Robert Ettinger’s 1962 book in which the term cryonics was coined. Nowadays, some two hundred people have been frozen, two thousand more are on a waiting list. Ballard visited them, from England to America, and the suburbs of Moscow.

He discovered most cryonicists are software engineers. They hope their brains will be transplanted in a new designer body. Ballard photographed the techniques, made portraits and asked the cryonicists what they want to bring into their next immortal life. it is for you to decide whether this is science fiction or reality.