This Life-Sized Skeleton Pencil Will Literally Draw Itself to Death

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From a strictly mineral standpoint, life on Earth is pretty ridiculous. Some carbon is organized, moves around a little and then falls back apart. Not so coincidentally, that’s also the basic premise of artist Agelio Batle’s Ash Dancer, which features a big-ass skeleton shaking around until it completely disappears.

Set to premiere in San Francisco later this week, Ash Dancer consists of a graphite replica of a human skeleton and a “specially constructed, high frequency vibrating table.”


“With its flat surface covered in Vellum paper, direct impressions of a ‘figure’ are made, as the shaking bone’s edges mark the white paper,” writes Jack Fischer Gallery, which will host the work, in a press release. “Consequently, the bones slowly become consumed in the process and will eventually disappear.”

After its gone, of course, the skeleton’s smudge-y creations will remain. That might sound kind of pointless, but, in the end, what are any of us really going to leave behind?