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2024 Annual Conference

St. Louis

March 21-23, 2024

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Rita Koehler

SPE Member since 2017
Member Chapter: Midwest

Glitch Mommy

Glitch Mommy evolves out of a personal story of an unsuccessful, decade long attempt to adopt and all that came with that experience. These lens-based artworks document the historical context in which my spouse and I, as two women married and living in the United States, pursued adoption previous to and during the passage of marriage equality laws. Glitch Mommy currently consists of a video installation and more than twenty-six, unique works created by layering images, and then reworking each piece with water, paint, ink, and other media.

The past decade has seen significant cultural change. Social movements promoting right relationship among people while exposing institutionalized misogyny, racism, xenophobia, and homophobia are part of our cultural dialogue. The aim of this project is to break open a conversation regarding hidden bias in adoption practices through the use of metaphorical characters and abstraction. The images invite an argument for a new language in which to re-examine policy, an imagination for more inclusive services, and curiosity for updated curricula to students and current service providers to improve the adoption process, one's understanding and experience of adoption, and ultimately, improve the lives of children and families – both birth and adoptive.

I move from attempts to erase what feels like a blot, a stain that I seek to obliterate from memory, to Glitch - an epoch that is neither error nor mistake, neither flaw nor failure, but a powerful interface between seams – where identity, touch, gesture, mutability strip the photograph as photograph and where glitch intervenes with the image as it begins communing, queering, and transforming the proscriptive patterns and boundaries.

Glitch Mommy Series, (Mom with Symbol), 2022

Glitch Mommy Series, (Pearls Hung In Trees), 2022

Glitch Mommy Series, (Mom with Pearls), 2022

Glitch Mommy Series, (Pattern 1), 2021

Glitch Mommy Series, (Face 1), 2021

Glitch Mommy Series, (Pattern 2, Hand), 2021. 2021

Glitch Mommy, Installation View. Brooklyn, NY

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