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The Body in Art

Discover how artists represent and use the body to investigate their relationships to gender and identity.

Artificial Biological Clock

Revital Cohen
(British, born 1981)

2008. Glass, resin, nickel-plated brass, and electronics, 5 7/8 x 6 11/16 x 5 7/8" (15 x 17 x 15 cm)

Cohen is a London-based designer who creates work on the border between art and design. She creates speculative objects, like the Artificial Biological Clock, that question the tense relationships between biology, society, and technology.

As a result of the pressures to develop a career and fulfill other ambitions, Cohen believes the ideal age for childbearing is no longer aligned with the socially accepted age when a woman should start a family. Additionally, “the promises posed by new reproductive technologies such as IVF [in vitro fertilization], test tube babies, and egg freezing,” she has said, “are blurring perceptions of the reproductive cycle amongst women, and consequently, the age of conception is constantly being challenged.” The Artificial Biological Clock is a response to these changing concepts of fertility. The device determines when a woman is ready to have a child using information from her gynecologist, therapist, and bank, weighing economic and psychological factors along with biological ones.