In Memoriam Corona

Stalin was reported to have said that a single death is a tragedy. A million deaths is a statistic.

The Coronavirus has stimulated a statistics pandemic. We are inundated by statistics, charts, graphs and numbers.

As the pandemic takes an ever-greater toll, the dead too easily dissolve into a plural noun, their identities fading as their number grows. “Such is the perverse mathematics of tragedy”.

This project intends to remind the viewer that every death is a tragedy, and that a tragedy is occurring somewhere right now as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. Every few seconds, a family member is dying. A husband. A wife. A child. A parent. A friend. A coworker.

Notable individuals are reported in the press. The obituaries of notable individuals that have been reported are displayed with a W link to the biography on Wikipedia.




For every reported individual there are hundreds of ordinary people whose names and stories may only be known by their friends and families. To commemorate those individuals, hypothetical names and stories are generated at the actual rate today.

Each obituary is generated by a heuristic algorithm. In aggregate, the simulation is statistically accurate. After a length of time, the number of deaths shown for each country will match the data provided by the European Centre for Disease Control (ECDC).

The number of males and females of each age in each country are also statistically correct in the aggregate.

The actual number of deaths is much higher than the officially reported figures in most countries.

The individual names and their stories are fictitious. Any resemblance to persons living or dead is a coincidence.




In Memoriam Corona was created to be displayed in an art gallery, preferably in a portrait mode on a large screen display. Customization for a particular display mode or location is available from the artist. Please contact the artist if you plan on showing the work in your gallery.




In Memoria Corona was created in April, 2020 by Peter Jennings, an artist/inventor who has been creatively combining mathematics, artifical intelligence and art in his work since 1968. Most recently, he participated in the Neurones, Les Intelligences Simulées Exhibition at the Centre Pompidou, Paris, February to April, 2020. It was closed in March due to the Covid-19 pandemic.


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