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)
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.
Concept and Script: Sputniko!
Video Director: Yasuhito Tsuge
Video Production: AUG5, Inc.
Music and Lyrics by Sputniko!
Stylist: Shoko Sei
Hair: Yuki Akagi
Make Up: Kanta Mukasa
Device Production: Naoki Kawamoto
Image Photography: Rai Royal
Set Design: Sam Frances
Make Up: Hiroe Tomikawa