Joe Davis : Poetica Vagina

joes davisThis week showed me many ways that science and art can creatively be forced together to create ideas that make both subjects uncomfortable, and eventually cause issues.

Joe Davis is an artist that uses high voltage electricity and space bound signals to create his artwork. Davis realized that there has not been any images of human genitals or reproduction sent to space. He believed he needed to change that, so that the “others” in space will be able to understand how our reproduction works. In the 1980s he came up with a project that records the vaginal contractions of ballerinas using a “vaginal detector” built in a laboratory of mechanical engineering. The detector consisted of a water-filled polyallomer centrifuge tube mounted on a hard nylon base that contained a very sensitive pressure transducer. It was so sensitive that it could detect voice, heartbeat, and respiration from the contractions. He translates the contractions into text, music, phonetic speech and radio signals which are beamed to the star systems. He used electronic music software in order to match the the frequency of the contractions to the English speech. He then transmitted the sounds of vaginal contractions to the nearest star systems. Unfortunately, the Air Force quickly shut it down after 20 minuets. However, a few minutes of the footage did make it to four sunlike stars.


vagina davis


This project is by far the most interesting art collections I have ever read about. I don’t understand why he chose ballerinas to convey our reproduction to the “others” in space. How do the contractions of ballerinas relate to reproduction?

Christina Carr



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s