“Outsourcing mothers” was made during a one-year Digital Art Residency at Prospect Gallery in South Australia while remotely working from my home in New York. Using Skype video calls, I directed a number of the local Australian artists/volunteers in their performances for the project.
The genesis of this work directly connects with my private experience about an incident of child abuse. When my son was two years old, his daycare security camera captured child abuse by his caregivers, and this resulted in four teachers’ arrests. I hovered between a sense of guilt and fury that lead me to consider more deeply what it means to be a mother, both existentially and concretely. I then wondered what if a mother could outsource the raising of a child with multitude of other “mothers” similar to Facebook’s “sharing” idea?
Inside the video, the role of many outsourcing mothers (performers) act out symbolic actions. I juxtaposed over layers of nature images with the actors’ actions. Also, I recorded the performer’s own memories about their mothers and used these memories as the background sound. Finally, I combined the pieces to showcase two key themes in my concept – the concrete aspect of the simulated “outsourcing mothers” and the more abstract aspect highlighting the inherent conflicting emotions of the mother who has been "outsourced” such as competition, insecurity, and broken-self-esteem in this modern world.