One of Ani Liu’s strengths as an artist is her ability to process emotion through different scientific mediums: machine learning, chemistry, 3D-printing. The result is often visceral: she’s used organic chemistry to concoct perfumes that smell like people emotionally close to her and engineered a device that enables the wearer to control the direction of swimming sperm with their mind.

Liu became a parent shortly before the pandemic, and she channeled that experience into a new show called “Ecologies of Care,” to process her postpartum period and the communities in her life that helped her through that time.

AI-generated text and toys for the piece “A.I. Toys (unboxing mania).”

AI-generated text and toys for the piece “A.I. Toys (unboxing mania).”

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AI-generated text and toys for the piece “A.I. Toys (unboxing mania).”
D Peterschmidt
328 feet of tubing filled with synthetic milk, as part of the piece, “Untitled (Pumping; Feeding Through Space and Time).”

328 feet of tubing filled with synthetic milk, as part of the piece, “Untitled (Pumping; Feeding Through Space and Time).”

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328 feet of tubing filled with synthetic milk, as part of the piece, “Untitled (Pumping; Feeding Through Space and Time).”
D Peterschmidt

And at her new exhibition—next to a 3D-printed sculpture of a pig’s uterus—lies 328 feet of clear tubing with a milky-white substance pumped through it, a commentary on pumping breast milk as a new parent. “I wanted to use my own breast milk, but it wouldn’t be stable for the duration of the show,” she said.

“I hope that this can allow new parents to bond and maybe feel less lonely,” she said. “In making it, I was questioning how do we create better communities of care? I made all of this work before the formula shortage, before our reproductive rights were even more under threat. When I look at this, I’m hoping that you see this particular slice of love and labor.”

Artist Ani Liu

Artist Ani Liu

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Artist Ani Liu
D Peterschmidt

“Ecologies of Care” is on view at the Cuchifritos Gallery + Project Space in New York City until July 30, 2022.

This story originally appeared on Science Friday and was republished with permission.