Built like a Brick

First of all you’ll notice that it’s only 18 carats or 75% pure which is jewelry grade but normal for most applications since the elemental stuff is too soft withstand much actual use.

Also what makes it art is irony. The material is in fact less suitable to it’s alleged application than the customary ceramic which is light, tough, and non-porous in addition to being relatively inexpensive because mass produced pots with minimal decoration don’t have an unjustified symbolic value since they’re basically pressed dirt baked in an oven like Ur Cow Tokens. You want art? I have some lovely vases from between 1386 and 1662 (common era) having distinctive and intricate patterns in black and blue glaze that are not available for a Song since that was an entirely different dynasty which ended slightly over 100 years before and was arguably the most technologically advanced civilization (I dunno, is gunpowder a technological advancement or is it like fire, too soon to tell?) in the world at the time, best known for visual art (paintings), music, and literature.

What? Mom took Art History, I paid attention. Not everything begins and ends around the Mediterranean basin (stupid Romans).

So is it Art!? Is beauty truth and truth beauty? It’s solid and functional and I imagine feels more familiar than a bidet or one of those Japanese talking units I think are entirely too intrusive in what should be quiet and contemplative moments. If I were feeling urgency I’d forgo the line in favor of a more democratic solution though I’ll tell you that when I was managing my summer empire from a better office than the titular director I had my own private facilities (yes, more than one) because I was friendly with the guy who provided sanitary services and I treated him like a human being instead of an untouchable outcast. They were modular and portable but pristine and maintained, much cleaner than the more popular units. I suppose I could have had one with running water if I asked, but that would have presumed too much.

Bricks are as clay as anything else made from heated dust and far more useful than shiny objects which are basically distractions for babies who wouldn’t be crying if you’d feed them or change them or hug them.

On the throne: what it’s like to use the Guggenheim’s solid gold toilet
by Adam Gabbatt, The Guardian
Friday 16 September 2016 13.46 EDT

New York’s Guggenheim museum unveiled its latest installation on Friday – a solid gold toilet titled “America”.

Visitors to the museum are able to use the golden toilet in much the same way as they would use a normal toilet. It is located in a standard, pre-existing bathroom on the fourth floor of the museum, a small placard the only indication of its presence.

Entering the bathroom, the eye was immediately drawn to the toilet. The bright bowl glimmered under the bathroom’s harsh fluorescent light, while the 18-carat gold seat looked sparkly and inviting.

The surface proved forgiving on the rear of the thigh and once the procedure was complete, the flush worked like a charm. The golden toilet was able to handle solids.

The toilet was created to the exact dimensions of the Guggenheim’s existing toilets. The museum shipped two toilets to Italy, where Cattelan cast the golden toilet in several parts before welding it together.

Michael Zall, associate director of operations at the Guggenheim, oversaw the installation of the toilet. He engaged the services of a “very professional” plumber, who he said was excited by the prospect of fitting a solid gold toilet.

“When he was here he kind of turned into a little kid, and he said he actually had butterflies,” Zall said.

Nathan Otterson, senior conservator, objects at the Guggenheim, is responsible for maintaining the toilet. He said a cleaning crew will attend to the toilet every 15 minutes.

“They’ll wipe down the toilet with a medical wipe that will sanitize it and then at a longer interval it will be steam-cleaned like in a hospital,” he said.

A security officer will stand guard outside the toilet. People will only be allowed to enter one at a time, and bags must be left outside.

“We would hope no one would try to remove part of the toilet,” Otterson said. There has been some internal discussion over imposing a time limit on golden toilet visits, he said, with people potentially being limited to five minutes per visit.

There was a small line of people outside the Guggenheim on Friday morning. A woman called Rachel, who asked that her last name not be used, said she was there specifically to use the golden toilet. She declined to elaborate on her plans, but said she was “excited” at the prospect of using the toilet.

Rachel said her most enjoyable toilet experience to date was in Japan.

“They have the best toilets. They have water in them, they’re heated, sometimes they play music. They’re amazing.”

What did I tell you? Ick!


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