As a natural-born crier, I consider myself an expert in the art of tears. I possess the talent to effortlessly express my emotions through tears. Although my family has accused me of exaggerating, I believe it to be a compliment, as I am able to feel things more deeply than others.

Upon receiving the task from the Crying Institute to develop a new crying material, I was filled with genuine excitement and gratitude for the opportunity to innovate and design new technologies that our world deserves. Initially, I generated a multitude of clever ideas, such as crying paintings, crying cactus, crying cola, etc. Even though it was so much fun during those experiment times, I ended up didn’t proceed with any ideas as they were dull over time.

Except for one day, I realised that in order to invent something truly valuable, I needed to unlearn and then relearn anew!

I put down my ego next to my laptop and pretended to meditate for 3 minutes. Suddenly, an idea struck me: tears contain a three-layered component known as tear film. I then pondered the possibilities of filming tears to see these tear films.

Wow, I was super proud of myself.
Let’s make a film about the tear film then!

Chapter 1: The Tear Tracker

In order to film the tears, I need to create a device that can detect, track and visually record my tears. I made a device by using recycled parts from the electronics lab at the Bauhaus-Universität.

The device is made from the breadboard, wires, LED, camera, resistor, RTC etc.

Due to the complication, I decided to make a short video to show how it look and function.

Chapter 2: The Interface

In simple words, in order to track my tears successfully, I need to put my wonderful creation, the Tear Tracker, inside my eyes. The preferred location is next to the pool of tears where I believe it is the place of tears production.

To show you how to do it, I created an instruction video that contains important steps but yet very simple.

Chapter 3: The Tear Film

Now it comes to the most important part of the journey. I would cry to activate the device and film my tears!

Sadly, it wasn’t that simple.
I couldn’t cry.


Going back a bit to the story of the experiments before Chapter 1.
Even though I didn’t proceed with any of those dulled ideas, I couldn’t avoid the fact that I sacrificed tons of tears in order to test those innovations.

Crying after crying makes me cry for real. I burned out from crying and I cried from being burned out. One day, like today, I woke up and realised that I don’t have any more tears to drain…

I need a new material!


Once upon a time, but around 8 years ago to be precise, my mom moved from our planet to another faraway land. I couldn’t reach her due to signal issues. I miss her every day and that missing energy has been killing me, so I decided not to look at any of her photos. The videos are highly prohibited, maybe because my mind knows I will cry so badly. Well, thanks to the self-defense mechanism. -_-

However, as a professional, the project is more important than my heart. I decided to finally face my fear and step into her old materials in order to complete my new material invention.


In this chapter, you will see the final part of my project. I hope you enjoy my film and my tear film. 🙂


Crying in Motherhood: Collected Stories

Pregnancy and motherhood have been transformative experiences for me that have altered the way I think, feel and react. My initial research into crying and motherhood revealed the hormonal and neurological changes that are contributing factors to this, however social pressure, questions of identity and gender also play a big role. To explore this further I reached out to friends who are also mothers to ask for their stories related to crying in motherhood. Their responses point in many directions: the physical pain and endurance of pregnancy and parenting, stepping into a new identity as ‘Mother’, the bond between mother and child, heartbreak of separation and the joy of growth.

Thank you to all the mothers who contributed stories to this collection.



Motherhood is a time of heightened emotions, full of joys and pressures. Crying abounds from both the mother and the child beginning with that collective first cry – ‘I just gave birth’ + ‘I just entered the world’.  A mothers body and brain change in preparation to be receptive to her baby’s cries, which the baby uses to communicate its needs.

There are also many triggers for crying for the mother. Expectations, judgements and insecurities are a part of the experience of motherhood and act as crying triggers amidst the roller-coaster of hormonal and bodily changes.

  • My body is out of my control crying.
  • My hormones are taking control crying. 
  • I am full of self doubt crying.
  • It hurts, crying.
  • I am not enough, self doubt crying.
  • Crying as communication.
  • Hungry crying.
  • Exhausted crying.
  • Happy crying.
  • My life has been turned upside down crying.
  • I don’t know what I am doing crying.
  • That movie was mildly touching crying.
  • That collective first cry – I just gave birth crying +  I just entered the world crying.
Hormonal, physical and neurological responses.

MER – milk ejection reflex is a reaction in a breast feeding mothers body to her babies cry.  On hearing a baby cry oxytocin and prolactin – the two main hormones involved in milk production – are produced. Oxytocin is produced more quickly and is responsible for contracting the cells around the alveoli (where the milk is stored) causing existing milk to be pushed out. This can happen when your own baby cries or for some women when any baby cries.

Study ‘Neurobiology of culturally common maternal responses to infant cry’ shows that there are common behavioural responses among mothers to crying children and that these responses are aligned with the areas activated in the brain. They also show that these brain activations are stronger in mothers than in non-mothers and that mothers brains are very quickly adapting to their infant’s forms of communication.

Another study showed significant shrinkage of grey matter in the brains of mothers, again showing a neurological development through pregnancy and motherhood and clear difference between mothers and non-mothers. This was likely related to a streamlining process making the brain more efficient in areas around reading the emotions and desires of others, however the exact purpose was unclear to researchers.


The studies above are interesting to point out some of the neurological and hormonal mechanism for a mother to connect with her child. However they don’t explain all the ways that a woman is changed through pregnancy, the process of motherhood and the effects of social pressures relating to her new role as ‘mother’ and all that that entails. The two examples of artistic works below are useful to expand on the insecurities and expectations of motherhood.

Mother, 2005 (video still). Candice Breitz.


This 6 channel video installation by Candice Breitz, edits together snippets of famous actors playing the role of mothers.  Interestingly the work begins with crying. The work is highly performative, here Breitz reiterates cliched ideas of motherhood by cutting, repeating and overlaying scenes from the six films. But the work also hits on some of the key insecurities, fears (“I’m scared) guilt (“I never wanted to be a mum”) and loss of self (“I always felt like somebodies wife or mother or daughter) felt by mothers. 


In her series of videos ‘Mother Machines’, Computational Mama experiments with AI image generators, pushing the algorithms to depict more realistic images of motherhood – the tired, stressed, multi-tasking and sometimes crying mum, the reality of being a freelance, artistic mother and move away from clichéd  images of motherly perfection.