Afterbirth Spectacular by Jessica Westbrook and Adam Trowbridge, 2009

Jessica Westbrook and Adam Trowbridge - AfterBirth Spectacular - Terminal Award
Jessica Westbrook and Adam Trowbridge – AfterBirth Spectacular – launch

Building on the conceptual foundations brought forth through the works of psychologist Jacques-Marie-Émile Lacan and artist/writer Mary Kelly this project considers the current state of birth (distribution and reception) in its captured and deliverable form and the shifting sensitivities and expectations indicated through an abundance
of vernacular media/dialogue published online. This project considers questions regarding: transparency, power, sexuality, demystification, media induced [false] memory, attraction/repulsion, game inclinations, biological/virtual experiences, empathy, and our relationships with the “natural” world.


AfterBirth Spectacular is networked based art because it invites users to participate in a birthing process through interactive video accessible on the web. The intention is a visceral, interactive experience with a real, and intensely personal moment. A user can give birth too, interactively, forwards and backwards, using a scrubbing gesture.


1 : A YouTube keyword search for “live birth,” “birth,” “home birth” turns up thousands of relevant results. Women frequently publish themselves in the throws of labor on the internet for their friends, neighbors, and the whole world to see, share and comment on.


2 : I dont remember being born, but my son (b.2000) does. He saw it on video. Now he “remembers.” Is all this broadcasting changing the definition of memory?