laser engravings  artificial wombs

I became fascinated with ectogenesis almost twenty years ago, intrigued by the way artificial wombs would alter the experience of human reproduction, the impact on both women and men, and the incentives needed to sell this concept to the masses. I questioned the motivation behind those who worked towards shifting incubation of the fetus from woman to laboratory and wondered where that technology might lead us.

My interest in ectogenesis was sparked by the work of Dr. Yoshinori Kuwabara, chairman of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Juntendo University, where he was incubating a fetal goat in an artificial womb. This image, both fascinating and disturbing, let me to contemplate a system
Artificial gestation would fundamentally change the way humans interact with their developing offspring from the moment of fertilization. Reproductive labs would not only monitor every aspect of embryonic and fetal development, but would need to accommodate parental interaction with their baby for bonding to occur. One of the benefits would be familial bonding from conception to birth.

These laser engravings reflect my fascination and concern with this future technology.These machines serve to offer a glimpse beyond the ubiquitous tank with tubes and move us to consider alternate versions of what these machines and their fetuses might look like. Some depict wonder, some reference doom, while they all redefine our concept of reproduction and birth. The technology of engraving on paper and other materials, including mirrors and plexiglass, beckons the viewer closer to view these contemporary yet timeless drawings, speaks to where we are in space and time now.



Photos of the exhibit will go online April 7, 2017

 © 2014-2019 by Ellen Hanauer Studios  

Riker Hill Art Park

284 Beaufort Avenue, Building 500

Livingston, NJ 07039