Cordula Daus

Promotional video, 2021

Outer Woman

artistic research, fiction-in-progress, 2021-

in collaboration with: Sebastian Bark, [M] Dudeck, Charlotta Ruth

Funded by the Austrian Science Fund (FWF)

A website and podcast series is in preparation:


Outer Woman is artistic research that investigates and develops imaginaries surrounding the human reproductive complex. The project departs from the premise that ectogenesis – the fabrication of a being outside a female body – is not science fiction but an actuality.

Currently, millions of frozen embryos are being stored in labs all over the world. Premature lambs are being brought to term in plastic bags. Mice are being bred in bioreactors without using any eggs or sperm. Millions of humans have been created with the help of assisted reproduction. We’re amidst a revolution that profoundly affects the human condition. The problem seems that we cannot fully grasp its effects. Feminist writers and thinkers such as Vera Brittain, Shulamith Firestone, Susan Merrill Squier, Irina Aristarkhova, and lately Sophie Lewis have critically examined the power structures and desires behind outsourced gestation and birth. Taking up their inspiration in dialectical thinking, Outer Woman combines field studies in midwifery, neonatology and biology with confabulation and fictioning.

So far, we, a team of four artists – two cis middle aged women/mothers and two queer men – have been busy in developing different forms of experimental anticipation (experimentelles Ahnen) to get a sense of the revolution to come. In a first episode we have invited to a séance-like game that allows to look back at pregnancy to recall and re-sense its elements: „P R E G N A N C Y. What was it all about? On the list: Swollen breasts, authorship, ‘the own child’, excluded men, naming something, touch, penetration, edging, postpartum depression, the family. What do we want to keep? What needs to be transformed?“ (From: Das Aufhebungsspiel/Sublation Game, Vienna 2022)

We use alienation as a method, our own biographies and families as artistic matter. Situated between language-based art, performance and a general studies of feelings, the project works with a wide range of approaches to create fables, performative settings and conversations around family-un/making, non-fertile subjectivities and co-creation.