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Design Interactions, RCA Degree Show
Royal College of Art, London, June 2007
following links within the coverage, you'll read of bees' nasal acuity, choosing partners based on genetic suitability (whatever this is going to mean), and paying attention to the rise of GSA/genetic sexual attraction as a consequence of reproduction techniques such as infertility treatment and genetic screening.
Some of this information overlaps with
.... Research that has demonstrated (2001 article by Alison Motluk) that women taking the contraceptive pill decrease their ability to detect odours, preferring genes similar to their own, and eventually choose a mate who is not genetic-suitable.
Tim Jacob briefly records overlapping research by Martha McClintock on women detecting male immunotype by smell, here.
Susana Soares' Sniffing Others developed from her previous exhibit Genetic Trace, postulating that we can have, and use, tools to collect genetic material, detect one's genetic family, thus avoiding "wicked relationships" while also addressing issues specific to Donor Offspring (from donor eggs or sperm).
The collection of genetic material could be extended to physical contact like handshakes or kisses. While touching the hand of the other person you would use your "brushy" nails to scrap some genetic material from his or her palm. Similarly women facial hair would finally be useful because they would allow you to grab genetic information (saliva or dead cells containing DNA) after a kiss. Soares
I like the idea of growing bee whisker antennae on human eyebrows, acting as additional sensors.
Why not? Women already wear false eyelashes. One can't move through a department store cosmetics area without being told you can receive a free eyebrows consultation and fix-up (at least in Los Angeles).
People can get back to fairy roots!
My informal research (begun in the 1960's due to circumstances of who I grew up with and who came through our home) shows that many hormone-changing birth controls for women not only affect the woman's sense of smell (thus her accurate sniffing out of a proper mate) but also makes her body think she is already pregnant.
When this happens the woman's system says, "Making baby, make nest, make nest, make nest!" This is different than being on the prowl with natural hormones that say, "Mmmmmmm, sniff, sniff, are you the one? Are you the one? Are you the one who makes my blood sing?"
I would change jimi hendrix's lyrics from "Wild Thing you make my heart. sing. You make my everything, Wild Thing, I think you move me ... but I want to know for sure ...."
Wild Thing you make my blood sing, you make my hormones sing ... I think I love you.
Enjoy the links!
Another thing about hormonal birth controls is the small print side effects lists: in addition to helping skinny girls have bigger breasts and helping some women lessen their zits, the 50+ side effects of hormonal birth controls include jaundice, nausea (prolonged morning sickness), changes in smell and taste, and ... death*. mmmmmm that'll put zip in your prowl.
* maybe every breath we ingest includes the disclaimer up to and including death.
When Margaret Sanger correlated poverty with unwanted pregnancies and early maternal deaths, her research took her to the development of modern day birth control. There was resistance. Her work was taken over by a consortium of men from around the world who changed her work (with end results that do not benefit women's long and short-term health). Sanger succinctly stated that the end results were absolutely not what she had worked towards and developed.
The latest advertisements for hormonal birth-controls show women in glee over having to not bleed for as many days now. Perhaps this helps not-reveal evidence that women do bleed more when exposed to toxicities, externally and internally (including side effect symptoms of medications; agricultural, pesticide, hospital and lab exposures, bleach in tampons, etc.).
Instead of women's external blood, the blood we get to see outside of bodies can come from war. #evolution ?
I know that many women, and men, want to be sexually active without human progeny the end result. I know that many men do not like wearing condoms. I know that women's birth controls insert metals or hormones; metal into areas that we know metal should not be allowed to stay and irritate; ingested or inserted hormones that change blood, body, sensing and thinking.
We'll figure it out. Or, maybe we won't.
Illustration: Continuity Lura Astor
Whisker nails for collection of DNA data: Susana Soares