Bodily transformations that attend breastfeeding include entanglements of more-than-human materials and agencies. These can be seen in exchanges of physical matter, such as bacteria, that blur bodily boundaries. This project explores the becomings of leaky breastfeeding bodies through the vital force of milk.
I currently have three design explorations: knitting bras for lopsided breasts, transforming milk into fiddling necklaces, and site-writing around breastfeeding. More process images can also be found on my blog and instagram.
While from the beginning of my lactating experience, the sizes of both breasts were constantly shifting, at around ten months postpartum I noticed that within their dynamism, the left was generally larger than the right. I began to reflect upon what it means for them, me, or us to be full, to feel being filled, and to fill up space unevenly together. More practically, I began adapting a pattern to knit bras for lopsided breasts that could account for our breastfeeding bodies as networked and entangled in pasts, presents, and futures of milk.
Transforming milk into fiddling necklaces was motivated by my physical and social frustrations during breastfeeding when she wants to fiddle with the other nipple. I desired to make fiddling necklaces out of our solidified and preserved human breastmilk, so that by taking away a breast, I could give something from the breast in return. Ongoing material experiments of ambivalently tampering with the corporeal generosity of interspecies breastfeeding include making casein plastic from cow’s milk and various techniques to preserve our human breast milk.
In writing around breastfeeding, I deliberately make absent breastfeeding bodies, to make present the social-spatial relations of places and more-than-human bodies that support its presence or absence. More coming soon.