Mooncalf Menstrual Meat (MMM)

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Mooncalf is a biological art project that employs the seemingly progenitive properties of menstrual fluid, hearkening back to matrilineal cultural beliefs that human embryos were created from or nurtured by menstrual blood. The generative properties of menstrual fluid are not in its haemoglobin content; rather, in still-viable cells and tissues shed with blood, vaginal secretions, and unique proteins. The concept of blood-generated progeny, historian Melissa L. Meyer explained, underlies many menstrual taboos, some of which continue to impact biocultural notions of menstruation. These taboos may shape biotechnological development, which Mooncalf addresses through TechnoFeminism. Use of my body materials in biotech processes is imperative to a TechnoFeminist ethos of creating new, embodied knowledge and wielding technology towards autonomy in hegemonic technoscientific spaces. Meyer suggested that menstrual taboos may have emerged not only to symbolically protect non-menstruators, but also to practically manage or control human reproduction. This economic function is a topic I expand upon within the context of reproductive labour and applications thereof in a technocratic world. With Mooncalf, I manipulate menstrual taboo to my advantage, towards self-determination through experimentation in a tissue culture lab, and further towards developing critique of technoscientific industry and its gendered sociocultural and economic impacts.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages19
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 4 Jul 2023

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