Wednesday, September 30, 2009

googled "art about suicide" this came up

Read at your own risk.

These suicide notes were gathered at the coroners' offices by a suicidologist/psychiatrist who asked to be anonymous. He edited identifying details out of the compiled manuscript, and we changed the names. But the text of each letter plus the age and sex given are real. All these people did kill themselves. Were they ambivalent about it? About half the hundred or so letters we saw seemed to have some element of doubt.

(There's a strange story in computer folklore about a suicide note that appeared late one night on the Arpanet computer network. The other people on the network had regularly corresponded with the mean, but always under the name of his lab not his own name. When the message saying he was killing himself flashed on the screen they tried to call the police, but nobody could identify him, and he died.) -- Art Kleiner


I'm not sure how I feel about the fact that these people's last words are being made available to the public. Isn't there some kind of confidentiality between patient and psychiatrist? I know I wouldn't want the world to read my final deep and emotional thoughts. And I wouldn't want my friends and family aired like that either. Even the fact that my friend Nate's death was an article in our local newspaper bothered me. "Silver Spring man killed by train".

oh, here it is

FYI: 16th street bridge is a five minute walk from my parents house and I cross over it every time I drive into DC. I've only been at the tracks once since then for a photoshoot.

I've done a lot of thinking lately about Nate's suicide and the suicides of two of my sister's classmates following the death of Nate. No less than one month apart. Both students were straight-A kids, and in the IB program. I recently asked a friend of my sister what the school did to help students cope with this. He told me that they singled out all the IB students and had them do some activities but I don't understand why only those students were addressed. The entire school community should have been addressed when Nate first offed himself. Nate was a high school dropout, but also a natural genius. He didn't need school. He went on and off drugs constantly, and I can vividly remember seeing him chug bottles of Robitussin on numerous occasions.

The scene at Nate's memorial service.

Afterward, everyone went to the tracks under the 16th street bridge to leave their mark/love

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Facebook Hacker Fakes Suicide of Gold Star Mom

For about two-and-a-half hours, suicidal notes were posted to her account. As family and friends wrote back, pleading with her to preserve her life, the messages continued.

"Debbie Lee has realized that my life is a lie and that my only friend is the handgun in the back of my closet," said one message. "My pain will be over soon," said another.

It wasn't until Lee reached ground high enough to have phone reception that she received any clue about what was happening. About 20 messages flooded in within a minute, she said, some telling her not to do "anything drastic."

By the time her son got through to her cell phone, several police officers had assembled outside her home in Surprise, Ariz., ready to break down the door.

ISU Suicide Prevention Grant

BOISE, Idaho (AP) -- A $1.5 million federal grant has been awarded to Idaho State University for programs aimed at reducing suicide attempts among youths and adults, ages 10 to 24.

The university in eastern Idaho will use the money to pay for suicide prevention efforts for the next three years.

Nationwide, 17 other states received similar grants under the Garrett Lee Smith Memorial Act, which was passed in 2004 and sponsored by then-U.S. senator Gordon Smith after his 21-year-old son killed himself.
The bill increased federal funding to combat the problem of youth suicide.

In Idaho, the grant will pay for programs to train adults to identify the warning signs of suicide in youths and provide schools with suicide prevention materials.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

artists who committed suicide

Diane Arbus, (1923-1971)
Took a lethal dose of barbiturates and slashed her wrists.

Kurt Cobain February 20, 1967 - c. April 5, 1994

"On April 8, 1994, Cobain's body was discovered at his Lake Washington home by an electrician who had arrived to install a security system. Apart from a minor amount of blood coming out of Cobain's ear, the electrician reported seeing no visible signs of trauma, and initially believed that Cobain was asleep until he saw the shotgun pointing at his chin. A suicide note was found that said, "I haven't felt the excitement of listening to as well as creating music, along with really writing . . . for too many years now". A high concentration of heroin and traces of Valium were also found in his body. Cobain's body had been lying there for days; the coroner's report estimated Cobain to have died on April 5, 1994."
Elliott Smith (August 6, 1969 – October 21, 2003)

"Elliott Smith died on October 21, 2003, at age 34 from two stab woundsto the chest. According to girlfriend Jennifer Chiba—with whom he was living at the time—the two were arguing, and she locked herself in the bathroom to take a shower. Chiba heard him scream, and upon opening the door, saw Smith standing with a knife in his chest. She pulled the knife out, after which he collapsed and she called 9-1-1. Smith died in the hospital with the time of death listed as 1:36 p.m. While Smith's death was originally reported as a suicide, the official autopsy report released in December 2003 left open the question of possible homicide. A possible suicide note, written on a Post-it read, "I'm so sorry—love, Elliot. God forgive me."
Sylvia Plath October 27, 1932 – February 11, 1963

Plath took her own life after she completely sealed the rooms between herself and her sleeping children with "wet towels and cloths." Plath then placed her head in the oven while the gas was turned on. The next day an inquiry ruled that her death was a suicide.

key concepts

Suicide is associated with..
self injury
various methods

Suicide can be..
helped through coping strategies
prevented through counseling or therapy
identified before it happens
addressed in the school community

Suicide is not the same as..
self injury
assisted suicide

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Francesca Woodman

Francesca Woodman, an amazing photographer, committed suicide on January 19th, 1981 by jumping out of a loft window in New York. She has often been compared to writer Sylvia Plath.

Her work is full of so much emotion. And I can't begin to imagine what great things she would have continued to do if she was still around creating art.

Words can't even explain how beautiful her work is.

Rockefeller & Co CEO dies in apparent suicide

 BOSTON, Sept 15 (Reuters) - James McDonald, a prominent
adviser to wealthy families as chief executive of investment
management group Rockefeller & Co, died in an apparent suicide,
on Sunday, local authorities said on Tuesday.
 McDonald, 56, was found  with a single gunshot wound in his
car near a strip mall in Dartmouth, Massachusetts on Sunday
afternoon. Police are still investigating.
 "The preliminary investigation concludes that this was an
apparent suicide," said Gregg Miliote, a spokesman for Bristol
County District Attorney Sam Sutter.
 McDonald was credited with growing Rockefeller & Co, the
New York-based family office established by oil tycoon John D.
Rockefeller in 1882 to manage the dynasty's assets, into a
broader investment management company with roughly $28 billion
in assets.
 Known as a perfectionist who drove himself and his
employees hard, McDonald lived in New York City where people
who worked with him said he was equally at home in corporate
boardrooms and the city's most exclusive social circles.

Is it our right to choose how long we live and when we get to die?
Is this freedom of expression?

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

no thanks

"HARDINSBURG, Ky. - The parents of a 16-year-old Kentucky football player who was baptized along with some teammates during a trip organized by their coach said Tuesday they believe their son may have felt some pressure to go through with the ceremony."

Monday, September 07, 2009

Girl on Trial for Art Project That Involved Fake Suicide Attempt

a friend posted this on facebook..

"Police in Sweden rushed to the aid of Anna Odell (left), a student at Stockholm's Konstfack University College of Arts, Crafts and Design, when she seemed poised to jump off of the Liljeholmen Bridge.

After she was released from a day of psychiatric lockdown, Anna then "announced" that it had all been a part of her questionable final year art project, a performance piece meant to highlight the flaws in Sweden's psychiatric-care system.

She is now being charged with false alarm, violent resistance and "fraudulent practice," which means she caused financial damage without profit. She is also facing a claim against her from North Stockholm Psychiatry for $1,700 and possible imprisonment. If only there were legal repercussions against everybody who makes crappy conceptual art."

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

in response to readings

Anna Gaskell
Untitled #2 (Wonder)
Tim Rollins and his group K.O.S. (Kids of Survival
2009 Lowenfeld Lecture by Olivia Gude

Tuesday, September 01, 2009


This is my blog for MAT seminar.
I'm interested in the issue of suicide and how it affects the adolescents of today.