Brain-Controlled Interface for the Motile Control of Spermatozoa

The reproductive organs of the female body have long been a site of contention, where opposing ideologies in religion, politics, and cultural differences often play out. Of all the questions, that of reproductive rights strikes a particularly sensitive nerve.

US President Donald Trump recently signed an executive order which cut off all US funding to international NGOs whose work includes abortion services or advocacy. Images of this executive order being signed by Donald Trump flanked by a cabinet of men have circulated widely, begging the question: why do these men feel they have a right to determine women's reproductive choices?

Reflecting on the cultural and scientific discourses that shape notions of the female body, and in an expression of female empowerment, I seek to challenge this status quo by engineering a system by which I, a woman, can control something inherently and symbolical male: spermatozoa (sperm). Through the use of a brain-computer interface, I control the movement of sperm along an XY axis with the agency of my thoughts.

While at first glance the idea of controlling sperm might be absurd, it is my hope that it causes the viewer to reflect on the very real absurdities of control happening to the bodies of women. Genital mutilation, forced sterilization, sexual abuse, rape, and contraceptive regulation currently occur as forms of control projected onto female bodies. In creating a subversive counter-narrative to these practices of control, this work presents a hope for reimagining and shifting our notions of gender.