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Unlike those in Futurama, the real-life suicide booth used lots of fire

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You may be familiar with the suicide booths of Futurama fame, but the automated death machine was perfected 20 years earlier. This is Erik Hobijn's 1990 performance art piece "The Delusion of Self Immolation," a machine that requires the participant to get sprayed in flames (and fire-resistant gel, of course). And no, this piece didn't come with a "clumsy bludgeoning" option.

Explains the STRP Festival of this baptism by fire:

The subject, coated with fire-resistant gel, stood on a rotating platform between a flame-thrower and a hose. The subject was automatically rotated to the extinguisher within approximately a half-second of being set on fire. Although subjects did not sustain real burns, they underwent a unique emotional experience. In addition to the momentary loss of the certainty about life, there was also the heightening of alertness and sensory perception.


As of 2000, 32 people had tested the machine. Additionally Hobijn built three settings into this machine: "rare," "medium," and "well-done." You can probably imagine which was the least unpleasant.

See also: The Euthanasia Coaster.


Via We Make Money Not Art. Top image: Morten Hartz Kaplers.