BUTT: A Proposal for a Zine
No one wants to think about shit and the act of shitting. When we go, we want it out of sight and out mind as fast as we can quickly flush, for to linger longer than is socially acceptable could be a sign of an atavistic pathology. However, should an alien happen to drop by and see how much energy, time and resources we spend just on our sewers, it might think we are absolutely obsessed with our excrement. It would be right, of course.
We propose, then, a zine about this all too important biological process. Provisionally titled BUTT, it will collect any and all investigations into the myriad ways scatology is spatialized. Many will keep on regurgitating promotional materials like those automatically archived on dezeen but not BUTT. Everyone will talk about Daniel Libeskind but not BUTT. It's the contrarian preposition.
Coverage, then, will likely include ancient Roman sewers, Victorian public loos, modern pay toilets, the zero gravity toilet of the International Space Station, boutique pissoirs, big event porta-potties, battlefield latrines, methane farms, Appalachian heritage outhouses, Mexican sewer divers, and public transportation powered by poo.
Any proposal that sets out to rethink urban sewer systems, regardless of quality, will always be a featured content, and realized projects that address the sanitation needs of the other 90% will be automatically accepted for publication.
Published as well would be field reports from guided tours of municipal wastewater treatment plants, for instance, the world's largest located right on the periphery of Chicago, and also from illegal urban explorations of subterranean drainscapes.
A lucky freelancer would be sent off to Dubai to see if the beaches around the fourty-three-star Burj Al Arab hotel are still noxious with illegally dumped human waste. He'll probably write that it's actually clean but only because there aren't much sewage around to be spilt, as everyone has left. If the miniscule budget allows, another freelancer would be assigned to get an update on Zimbabwe's cholera epidemic and the Gaza Sewage Flood of 2007.
Interspersed throughout each issue would be engineering illustrations of sewer tunnels that immediately call to mind certain anatomical drawings by Jean-Jacques Lequeu.
How about self-portraits, preferably of architecture students, taken inside the bathrooms of post-Bilbao museums?
Shit. From Every Angle.
It'll be the infrastructural porn rag for the hipster design crowd, always mistakenly shelved in the fetish section, along with the German scheiße bestsellers, of your nearest independent bookstore.