Mooncalf: ‘Unclean meat’, Technoetic Arts

WhiteFeather’s most recent authored publication as part of her PhD research, entitled, Mooncalf ‘Unclean Meat’, has been published in the latest edition of Technoetic Arts Journal, in the Taboo Transgression Transcendence special edition.

Abstract: The calamitous warnings of climate science have been latched onto by a growing roster of biotech start-up companies who propose to invent lab-generated meat alternatives to the ecologically disastrous livestock industry. They use solutionist hype to promote ‘sustainable’, ‘eco-friendly’, ‘cruelty-free’, ‘clean meat’. This moralized marketing, however, masks a continued reliance on animal agriculture. The fact remains that mammalian cells and tissues are grown in vitro using foetal calf serum, a blood-derived nutrient. Is it really possible to grow meat without banking on the bodies of nonhuman others? Might there be more tasteful material? In Bioart Kitchen: Art, Feminism and Technoscience, Lindsay Kelley asks, ‘[h]ow do technologies taste?’ This article proposes one answer to her prompt, centred on a technofeminist contextualization of the research-creation project, Mooncalf (2019‐present). Mooncalf is a series of wet lab experiments and artistic outputs that showcase the potential viability of human menstrual serum for culturing mammalian tissue. These experiments present a direct provocation that problematizes the cellular agriculture industry as it pertains to the production of ‘clean meat’ and instead works towards a proof-of-concept ‘unclean’ meat prototype. Mooncalf is a symbolic precursor or speculative promise meant to facilitate a ‘cultural taste’ for feminist biotechnologies.

Access the full article here.

More about Technoetic Arts journal here.