The artist Addie Wagenknecht is known for her critical examinations of internet culture. In the past, she has staged performance art pieces revealing the appeal of anonymity. She has created internet pages that refuse to load, revealing our urgent need for gratification through imagery. In Brussels’s recent Digital Now exhibit, she uses the internet and technology, tools that she admits are generally controlled by men, to create groundbreaking and sometimes unsettling portraits of modern womanhood. 

In The Optimization of Parenting, Wagenknecht unveils a bright orange industrial drone that rocks a baby’s cradle with precise, mechanical movements. She says of this piece, “Theorists wrote and said this series is celebrating the death of the mother. It's not objective, it's subjective.” She created the piece while she herself was pregnant, and she intends for it to explore expectations of mothers in modern society. “I think women of my generation were raised to believe that we can have it all, but that theory had never really been tested, our mothers gave us something impossible,” she admits. This piece offers a dehumanized view of the “ideal” mother that women are often expected to become; the precision of the robot’s movements “suggest this idea of impossible flawless perfection.”

 

 

In a series of gifs entitled Pussy Drones, the artist similarly wrestles with expectations and limits imposed on women. Conventionally or stereotypically male imagery, like lasers and drones, are overwhelmed by female iconography: kitty cats, pink dildos, engagement rings. Each image challenges conventional constructions of womanhood and family: destructive beams emanate from the eyes of bunnies, destroying a suburban home and a picture-perfect nuclear family’s day at the beach. A woman places a diamond engagement ring on another woman’s hand. A cat, decked out with a golden dildo, blows up a Walmart. Take a look

 

Thanks to iGNANT, Addie Wagenknecht, and We Make Money Not Art

Images via Addie Wagenknecht and iGNANT

Tagged in: the optimization of parenting, technology, sexuality, Sex Toys, pussy drones, Parenting, motherhood, internet, installation, engineering, cats, babies, art, addie wagenknecht   

The opinions expressed on the BUST blog are those of the authors themselves and do not necessarily reflect the position of BUST Magazine or its staff.




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