Site-writing around breastfeeding

Site-writing around breastfeeding explores how bodies and places are trans-corporeally transformed by one another. Site-writing is a critical spatial practice in which the position of the author is considered in relation to the site of writing itself. My site-writing around breastfeeding includes 1) a poem of social-spatial relations that describes physical locations where we do and don’t breastfeed, and who of us is present and absent; and 2) individual site-writings about each location to draw attention to the particulars of each space and place that support the presence or absence of breastfeeding.

I mapped these physical places according to their approximate spatial location by placing each site-writing on a piece of paper, and then went through multiple iterations of moving the pages according to emergent themes as I added annotations and photos of the two design explorations about breastfeeding. From this sense-making activity, I offered two broader reflections for designing with, for, and among more-than-human materials: generous absence and bodily mappings.

Generous absence reframes absence as “nonexistence” or a “lack of” to an inclusion of presence in unfamiliar forms and an openness towards the potential material consequences of design interventions. Bodily mappings methodologically approaches bodies as entangled through a focus on layers of relations for subject diversities and layers of activity for ongoing becomings.

(30 second preview of process)

This practice has been important for thinking with the social, material, and power relationships between bodies and places. This includes the implicit and explicit privileging of particular breastfeeding experiences, the situated environmental impact on breasted-bodies, and power hierarchies in multispecies relations. From this, I am interested in exploring breastfeeding as entangled in ecological issues and how a more-than-human perspective of milk as agentic might contribute towards radical futures of technology for breastfeeding.