Artistic Team

Performance Artist  Maude Davey
Performance Artist  Catherine Fargher 
Performance Artist  Heather Grace Jones
New Media Collaboration  Sarah Waterson
Genetics Consultant   Tony Roscioli

A series of performance and new media texts for posthuman futures.

‘Motherload’ aims to interrogate the female body as host to the parasitic implantation of another body, as well as to explore the ethical and scientific impacts of recent developments in genetic engineering/technologies. Through research and consultation with genetic scientists it has investigated the impacts of the new genetic and cloning technologies on the female and human body and psyche, DNA monitoring and reproduction. Genetic engineering, along with new information technologies is one of the ‘last’ contemporary frontiers of knowledge. Popular science/ culture sources have also been explored - the Human Genome Project, the IVF debate, and Dolly the sheep! This piece has the exciting potential to cross boundaries of art and technology. The future performance may take place at a range of sites, including laboratory/ public sites/ conferences/ the internet/ radio/ performance spaces. The artists aim to collaborate with the science they are interrogating. The project will explore ways of interacting with scientific agencies for the presentation of the work- ie, laboratory environments, conference or technological venues.

‘Mother Load’ was conceived by monologue/performance artists Maude Davey (SA), Catherine Fargher (NSW), and Heather Grace Jones (NSW). Maude’s solo performance (performed while 8 months pregnant!) ‘The Pickle or the Pickle Jar’ continued her corporeal interrogations as she explored what happens to a body when a parasitic force invades it. Catherine Fargher’s works ‘Ophelia Body’ and ‘The Marigold Hour’ explore the internal and private territories of the female body and psyche as important frontiers of knowledge. Heather Grace Jone’s monologue text ‘I want milk’ and co-edited book ‘Baby Hunger: Surviving childbearing losses’ have explored the pitfalls of reproductivity and the phenomenon of infertility. The key New Media collaborator has was Sarah Waterson. Sarah is an installation/multi-media artist, whose work deals with the influence of electronic technologies on subjectivities. Over the past fifteen years she has exhibited her installations/interactive environments and digital works both nationally and internationally, including Germany and the USA. Waterson has worked extensively to incorporate new technologies into live performance, including contain.her, Internalised Cities and memo.

‘Motherload’ also draws upon the expertise of genetic scientist Tony Roscioli, a clinical geneticist at Westmead Children’s Hospital in Sydney. The project has been funded by a research and development grant from the New Media Fund of the Australia Council for the Arts.