MyDeathSpace & Cinema:
Reconfiguring Life Through Memorials

March 24th 2007
University of Southern California, Critical Studies

Guimarin March 2007 USC Lecture Transcript (PDF Format) 29K Adobe Acrobat File
Guimarin March 2007 USC Article - Spectator Journal of Film and Television Criticism (PDF Format) 33K Adobe Acrobat File

The popular social networking website MySpace contains over 100 million profiles, some of which belong to deceased users. In January of 2006, MyDeathSpace was launched. MyDeathSpace is a website which chronicles deceased MySpace users in conjunction with newspaper obituaries and stories submitted by friends and family; posts include links to users' MySpace profiles. When a MySpace user dies, friends and family members can submit requests to MySpace to have their late acquaintances profiles deleted from the site or to gain access to their profiles to maintain them as memorials.

The use of MySpace profiles as memorials evokes the concepts of death and cinema on several levels: first, the memorials revolve around the deaths of individuals; second, the profiles represent the online and popular appropriation of sound and visual images by amateur content creators. This appropriation employs cinematic techniques in traditionally non-cinematic structures and spaces. Although it would seem that the death of cinema is revealed through these memorials, this paper argues that these memorials do not signify the deaths of persons or cinema, but rather the reconfiguration of the lives of each.

This paper draws on the study of early cinema to contextualize and theorize the practice of online social networking memorials in relation to the University of Southern California Critical Studies Graduate Student Conference theme "Deaths of Cinema."

LECTURE URLs: (my profile)

gymnastics, 'I've been changing' - mashed up

shamrocks, 'crazy bitch' - mashed up

My Death Space Latest Articles

Amanda Sparaco's My Death Space Article

Amanda Sparaco's MySpace

Amanda Sparaco's MySpace Blog "hey guys i just wanted everyony [everyone] to know that i love zach with all my heart..."

Zachary Lewis's MySpace

Katherine MacDougall's MyDeathSpace Article

Katherine MacDougall's MyDeathSpace Forum Thread

Sid Skibinski-Gonzales' MyDeathSpace Article

Sid Skibinski-Gonzales's MyDeathSpace Forum Thread

Sid Skibinski-Gonzales' MySpace

Tiffany Nealon's MySpace

Tiffany Nealon's MyDeathSpace Article

dolphin, glitter - "unhealthy nervousness"


University of California Irvine



Amelia Guimarin