Transforming milk into fiddling necklaces

Transforming human and non-human (cow) 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 include making casein plastic from cow’s milk and various techniques to preserve our human breast milk. While ambivalently tampering with the corporeal generosity of interspecies breastfeeding, I’ve begun reflecting upon implications of “making absent” more-than-human agencies within leaky breastfeeding bodies. This includes considering micro and macro scales of bacterial exchanges, multi-species relations, and the ethic-political structures of food systems.

Publications & Creative Outputs

Karey Helms. 2021. Entangled Reflections on Designing with Leaky Breastfeeding Bodies. ACM Conference on Designing Interactive Systems (DIS 2021), Virtual Event. (Special Recognition for Diversity & Inclusion)
PDF, DOI, Video (10 min), Video (30 sec)

Vasiliki Tsaknaki, Karey Helms, Marie Louise Juul Søndergaard, and Marianela Ciolfi Felice. 2021. “Vibrant Wearables”: Material Encounters with the Body as a Soft System. Journal of Textile Design Research and Practice.

Karey Helms. 2022. A Speculative Ethics for Designing with Bodily Fluids. ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems Extended Abstracts (CHI 2022, alt.chi) New Orleans, LA, USA.
PDF, DOI, Video (8 min), Video (30 sec)