"Cloaca" Art Installation Produces Own Criticism

WMMNA has a write-up of the horrifying "Cloaca" project, developed by Wim Delvoye, a series of machines that, when fed a slurry of acids, bacteria, and enzymes along with food, produce feces.
At first, Delvoye thought that it would never be possible to build up this machine of ultimate absurdity. But he received money from a gallery in Antwerp and dedicated it to the realization of the first Cloaca. The Cloaca Original involved a lot of "bricolage". On a later outing, this time in D├╝sseldorf, the room-size machine was exhibited in a religious setting. He particularly enjoyed the religious metaphors of the location: the machine was meant to look like a god to whom you would sacrifice food, etc.
What a piece of work is man! How noble in reason! how infinite in faculties! in form and moving, how express and admirable! in action how like an angel! in apprehension, how like a god! the beauty of the world! the paragon of animals! And yet, to me, what is this quintessence of dust? Because it appears to be shit from a shit machine. Wim Delvoye┬┤s talk at Ars Electronica [We-Make-Money-Not-Art.com]
This entry was posted in Art and Instruments, cloaca, shit and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to "Cloaca" Art Installation Produces Own Criticism

  1. Halloween Jack says:

    Now I want to build a time machine for the sole purpose of bringing William Shakespeare to the present day just to show him how his work is being used four centuries later. OK, and for the lottery, as well.

    I wonder how close Delvoye’s product is to real poo, because I don’t see how it would include bilirubin, the chemical that’s a byproduct of the breakdown of blood cells that makes shit brown.

  2. strider_mt2k says:


    I guess this could be useful in all those shit-starved locations across the globe…?

  3. pork musket says:

    This would be cooler if they used the energy produced from the digestion process for something, like light up a giant sign that says ‘instead of feeding poor people we fed this useless machine.’ Not that I’m cynical or anything.

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