feeler: Octopus Motherhood and Meat


The artwork feeler forms part of mOwson&M0wson’s ongoing artistic research into motherhood and the reproductive manipulation and control of non-human life forms. An iteration of the work is currently in the exhibition Octopus Encounters: An Immersive Library of Octopus Encounters at GLASMOOG.

This paper will show and discuss the research and making of feeler. A work created in response to the current scientific research into octopus reproduction driven by the meat industry, the consumption of octopuses, the particularities of octopus motherhood and the rise of zoonotic pathogens.


The sculptor Lynn Mowson and sound/installation artist Bruce Mowson comprise the artist collective mOwson&M0wson. They live and work in Melbourne. Combining their specific artistic backgrounds, their mutual practice is driven by the entangled relationships between human and nonhuman animals, in particular agricultural animals and those animals we consume. Their first project speaking meat remains a work in progress, presenting three “cuts of meat,” modelled in wax, that produced three different bovine voices/personalities in conversation. It was initially shown at the exhibition “Why Listen to Animals?” in Melbourne in 2016. lynn Mowson is currently vice-chair of The Australasian Animal Studies Association.