Reviewed by: AAA Executive Program Committee
Primary Theme: Biologies
We live in an era of extinction. Capital flows, industrial infrastructures, molecules, affects, technoscientific enterprises, and pharmacopornographic desires are engendering human life, while unraveling ecological communities and multispecies worlds. Against this backdrop, this Installation will resist and respond to Haraways command: Make Kin Not Babies!
Motherhood is being transformed by a new kind of capitalism that is hot, psychotropic and punk, to play with the language of Paul Preciado. At the cellular level, the mother challenges notions of individuality as fetomaternal microchimerism reveals the presence of cells from the fetus in the mother's body even decades after giving birth. The mother is not merely epitome of heteronormative reproduction but a disquieting disparate chimera, a literal monster denying and destroying individuated (neo)liberal subjects. Gene editing tools, IVF practices, robotic prosthetics, epigenetic reprogramming initiatives, microbiopolitical circuits, digital algorithms, and sperm banks are remaking germ plasm and reconfiguring horizons of desire for the human species.
Fantasies about future children often orbit around ideals of perfection. Queer and politicized crip or crippled sensibilities, offer an opportunity to shake things up, to jolt people out of their everyday understandings of bodies and minds, of normalcy and deviance, in the words of Alison Kafer. The right to choose, a prospective mothers right to an abortion, is perhaps the central tenant of third-wave feminism. Bringing punk and hacker aesthetics to technologies that shape reproductive choices, we aim to disrupt flexible practices of eugenics that are already eliminating certain kinds of people, like those with Downs Syndrome, from the human population. Our off-site event at Biocurious, a Silicon Valley hacker space, will engage with what Sarah Franklin calls “hope technologies to think about anti- ableist, anti-racist, and feminist work.
This event will bring together anthropologists, artists, and biological scientists. We will explore bioart projects and biotech tools that illustrate possible futures for humans and our transbiological progeny in emergent ecological and technical assemblages.