A Sperm A Day
The << A-Sperm-A-Day >> project was performed from January 1, 2007 to December 31, 2007 with the goal of producing one crocheted wire sperm per day in public environments for a period of one year.
Armed with a 3.5 mm crochet hook and a 100 g roll of copper wire, I began producing sperm sporadically in public in 2005.
And what conversations took place. Many of them were filled with interesting information and anecdotes about sperm and fertility issues. But just as many of the conversations showed just how little the average person knows about sperm when asked for specifics.
Then came the Viva performance festival in Montreal in 2006 for which the performance How many sperm can a woman produce in 24 hours? was conceived: a bordello setting, an impossible fairy-tale like action juxtaposed with a video projection on the issues confronting sperm today. (Issues of Sperm Sperm Science)
And in doing research for the video, I realized that the question of how many sperm a woman might be able to produce is not necessarily an idle one. Recent years have seen an alarming decrease in sperm production and an increase in sperm mutations in a wide range of animal species, including humans.
What a coincidence when in April of 2007, in the middle of the <<A-Sperm-A-Day>> project, the news broke: Scientists had produced the first early phase human sperm from bone marrow stem cells. And the question of whether women might just really be able to produce sperm themselves in the future arose
Yet handwork is all about taking time, a pause from the hectic pace of modern life, about finding a contemplative space in the mind where fantasy can take flight and practicing patience while performing a hands-on act of creation.
Why handwork wire?
Because of its malleable/flexible yet stiff character, wire is an ideal material for creating 3-dimensional sketchshells of living creatures. Producing the sperm in the medium of crocheted copper wire gives them a certain aliveness, as a result of their weight and proportions, and flexibility, and the fact that every millimeter of it passes through my living hands.
Why crochet wire in public spaces?