Blood Thirst, or Eat Our Humble Pie
Jimmy Grima


Blood Thirst, or Eat Our Humble Pie

Ira Melkonyan’s research on blood, which constitutes this proposal, is a natural progression from her previous work exploring the performativity of liquids and non-human actants. This project extends on her work history and leans further into her laboratory skill set and enthusiasm as a DIY citizen scientist.

This proposal seeks to engage with (women’s) blood and the transfer of its knowledge, in the following ways: as a scientific concept, a fluid that carries hormones, neurotransmitters and much more; as affect and symbol; as a non-human entity with its own agency, object (or abject) oriented ontologies.

Ira’s objective, on a longer term, is to create an open-source process, a DIY home-kit, which allows the user to self-perform blood analysis. Within the research process she wants to get closer to a prototype while creating a poetic contextualising narrative to further the ideas of a hormonal compass and endocrinological maps of (female) bodies beyond the existing medical knowledge.

Research questions

  • Who has the agency to decide the framing of blood? 
  • How can we keep progressing our relationship towards this bodily fluid?
  • How is blood a “vibrant matter”?
  • What does our understanding and representation of blood say about the times we live in or relate to contemporary burning issues of political, economic and environmental crisis?
  • What is the performance of blood?
  • What does it mean for women to have access to self-knowledge in the form of self testing devices? 
  • How does self- knowledge and self-determination promote the conditions for interconnectivity? 

In conclusion, it is the phrase “Female hormones are a mystery” that stays with Ira in a productive way. And her ambition is not to demystify them but to re-fabulate endocrinological body knowledge from a transdisciplinary feminist perspective. She wants to sneak past the gate(keeping) of conventional medical science and wrap the wet knowledge that hormonal bloody entities provide. A portion of poetry, a portion of horror, a portion of spirituality, a portion of science, and messy leaking living bodies full of blood.