Monday, November 14, 2011

Bio-Art: Cloaca.

Medical science seems to have a solution to every problem under the sun if an organ is defective. Lost a leg? Get a metal one. Arm? Same. Weak heart? We have organ donors for that. Then there are things like this for the digestive system that will likely be available in the near future:

Cloaca is an art piece made by Belgian artist Wim Delvoye. It was unveiled in 2000 at the Museum voor Hedendaagse Kunst in Antwerp, then traveled the world. Another version of Cloaca is located at the Museum of Old and New Art in Hobart, Tasmania. It has also been on display in Dusseldorf, where people "make sacrifices" to it.

Its purpose: It poops.

After eight years of research, Wim Delvoye successfully created a massive installation that replicated the digestive processes in human bodies. It is fed through a translucent mouth. Every acid is there and works on the food just like it would in a stomach. The result is real, foul-smelling, richly colored feces that are darn close to human. Delvoye is always keen to feed Cloaca new things, just to see how the crap will turn out. People gather at Cloaca at 14:30 to see fine food come out as feces and 16:30 to feed it.


The inspiration behind Cloaca was the sheer impracticality of most modern devices. Delvoye set out to create one of the most useless machines ever, knowing full well that making a machine that poops would be a relative waste of his talent. He compared it to a rich guy playing golf: he spends all that time just to get a ball into a hole with very little self-benefit involved.

He also made another point: Cloaca cost millions to make, yet we, as organisms, produce crap on a regular basis. Turds from this machine cost 1,000 USD. Do you realize how expensive your excrement is to make? You do now.

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