MENSTRUATION MACHINE - TAKASHI'S TAKE (2010)


Installation with video (color, sound), screens, and printed panels, 3:24 min., dimensions variable;
Device: aluminum, electronics, and acrylic
13 3/8 x 13 13/16 x 13 3/8" (34 x 35 x 34 cm)
© Sputniko!  

Menstruation Machine explores the relationship between identity, biology, and choice, while also inquiring into the meaning of gender-specific rituals. The metal device, which looks like a chastity belt and is equipped with a blood-dispensing system and electrodes that stimulate the lower abdomen, replicates the pain and bleeding of the average five-day menstruation period. It is designed to be worn by men, children, postmenopausal women, or whoever else wants to experience menstruation. A music video that can be displayed with the device is about Takashi, who wants to understand what it feels like to be a menstruating biological woman. Takashi builds the Menstruation Machine and wears it out on the town with a girlfriend, strutting around a shopping mall and occasionally doubling over in pain. Thus an internal, private process is transformed into a wearable display of identity. Since the 1960s, advances in hormone-based contraception have, by suppressing ovulation, made monthly periods no longer biologically necessary. Sputniko! notes that the Menstruation Machine may be particularly desirable in a future in which menstruation in fact becomes obsolete.
  

Exhibitions

2010 Transformation - Museum of Contemporary Art (MOT), Tokyo
2011 Talk to Me - Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)
2014 Design and Violence - Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)
2016 GLOBALE: New Sensorium – The ZKM Center for Art and Media
2017 Japanorama - Pompidou Center Metz
2019 Broken Nature - Milan International Design Triennial