The Geophagic Water Closet
June 25 – July 1
1-week session, $1000
Caroline Earley, Brain Gillis, and Kate Walker
In this session, participants will investigate the bathroom through multiple perspectives including cultural, psychological, and gendered. What if “the bathroom” functioned simultaneously as a functional, bodily space as well as an archive of a site's identity; its social and cultural references, related scientific data, physical and environmental attributes, and a record of the histories and activities of Mildred's Lane.
Through a focus on building tiles to ornament and transform the bathroom, this session will introduce a methodology for mining the site's identity and the beings, both human and non-human, who occupy it as a way to record information on the archival ceramic tiles. By making a press using plaster molds to produce multiples, we will make wall surfaces and fixtures functional as a visual map of histories of significant features recording Mildred’s Lane philosophy and life.
Fellows will discuss historical precedents for functional sanitary spaces and notions related to archives ranging from libraries and Wunderkammers to seedbanks and data stacks, as well as methods for surface decoration and clay modeling. Subjects include biographical references informed by individual fellows and Mildred’s Lane residents, imagery from the site, pattern, symbol, and ideas referencing site, local histories and more. Multiple methods of transferring memory onto tiles could include, 2D decal images, directly hand drawn, incising into the plaster mold or 3D low relief imagery.
Through a one-week workshop, fellows will conduct research, brainstorm, collect imagery and produce multiple tiles; beginning a permanent installation in the Main House water closet at Mildred’s Lane.