Spermbar

The Spermbar further extends Prune Nourry's questioning of "designer babies" by addressing the sperm donation industry in the United States.

In New York, on Fifth Avenue, across from Central Park, a food truck was reconverted into a Spermbar. A few days earlier, around one hundred anonymous and symbolic donors had filed their applications online, via forms similar to those used by sperm banks (education level, physical fitness, religion, hobbies, etc.). Each characteristic was then paired, by Prune and a mixologist, with a flavor and an ingredient. Assisted by the Spermbar's nurses, passers-by were able to choose their "ideal" donor and take away a unique combination - the fruit of their selection.

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In Denmark, for example, you only have access to limited donor information such as eye color, hair color, skin color, etc. In contrast, in the United States, much more information and many more services are available (for more money).

Here are some of those services:

In addition to the donor’s eye color and ancestry, you can also have access to their religion. Is there a religious gene?

If you want an "intelligent" donor, you can check to see if they are a Graduate donor, and learn whether your donor choices are athletes, musicians, artists, or scientists by reading their Donor Personal Essays.

You may look at the donors’ childhood pictures, knowing how meaningful it may be one day when your son or daughter recognizes those big brown eyes as their own.

If you’re a big fan of Johnny Depp, you can be sure your offspring will resemble him by purchasing the Donor Look-Alike option. Also, If you want a mix between Johnny Depp and Orlando Bloom, not to worry; the site links directly to photos of the two or three celebrities to whom the staff has deemed each donor most closely resembles.

If you have a person or picture you would like your donor to resemble, such as that of your friend in college who married your best friend, you can call to schedule a Donor Matching Consultation or use an online Face Match, based on technology that uses sophisticated mathematical formulas to compare two facial images.

Sperm banks use Federal Express and UPS to ship your vials into specifically designed shipping tanks; you should plan on receiving it two days prior to your insemination.

The Spermbar project took the online sperm-bank shopping experience and brought it to the high street using the emblematic New York-style food cart. Inspired by her event, The Procreative Dinner, Prune Nourry collaborated with a top New York-based mixologist, Cristian Molina, to mix unique juice cocktails in order to recreate the experience of the sperm donor application process and selection.

Through this website, participants were solicited to symbolically donate their sperm by filling out a donor application form online. Each trait was linked to an ingredient. Each symbolic sperm donation produced a unique and random flavor.

Then, on the day of the event, the cart was placed on a busy street corner where pedestrians were prompted to select a sperm donor, using a database on an iPad to search for an ideal candidate.

Will the juice satisfy their expectations?

Spermbar 2011

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Videos

The Spermbar Performance

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The Spermbar commissioned by Crossing the Line Festival, 5th ave., New York, September 2011

Performances