I spoke to Mathilda Fowler the other day about her recent residency at PoSt Projects. We spoke about sewage fruit, defensive architecture and racist soap, amongst other things. The transcription of the interview, along with pictures of her work, will be up soon. But for now, here is a scan of George Bataille's, The Big Toe, which also gets a mention in the interview.

Click on the pages to view larger images.

From Neitzsche, The Gay Science, 1882.



That last post is from a text file I found on my computer. It was my first attempt at writing a sustained narrative. It failed terribly. There was to be a character called Geoff who was sort of a chaotic-psychotic-bird man, then a character who forced the main character to follow Geoff around in some metaphysical landscape. Mostly bollocks. But occasionally providing some nice moments, like the man shitting two eggs. Or the Albert Ayler dream.
  Reading through the good and the bad, sifting through my detritus, my creative faecal matter; I realise that I have been interested in what comes out of my arse for a long time. The document I found was my first attempt at writing a long narrative, I'm now on my third (and most novel-like) attempt. Each of them contains many references to shitting. Why am I so fascinated? Well, apart from death or pissing it is something that human beings cannot escape. One cannot logic one's way out of going to the toilet, and yet, unlike death, we are unwilling to examine shitting in a critical or philosophical manner.
  This blog is an attempt to take shitting as both a literal and metaphorical subject for examination. I hope to start interviewing people who are interested in the subject matter, and maybe people involved with the practical end of disposing of our waste. I wonder if it will be as fascinating as I hope? Maybe I will one day find this blog by mistake and think to myself, 'what a pile of shit'.
chapter 12
“I've just shit two eggs”
    I turned in my seat, somewhat slowly. My wheely chair creaked slightly as I rolled around to confront my colleague.
    “what?”,
    “I've just shit two eggs”, he shifted from foot to foot, his position suggesting that this is not some source of amusement.
    “I heard what you said, I'm just not sure I'm prepared to deal with this. Are you sure?”
    “yeah, one of 'em cracked when it hit the bowl, come and have a look”
I was pretty certain that I wasn't in anyway qualified to verify anyone's stools, but he had already started off in the direction of the toilet, albeit shuffling quite awkwardly. I followed him slowly through the office,
    “they're about the size of a Cadbury's mini egg, but a bit bigger”
    “so, about the size of an egg then?”
    “yeah that's it”
We walked into the gents. He opened the cubicle door.
    It stunk, a real shitty smell, no fucking about. The smell seemed to penetrate your face. It felt like it put pressure on your ears, changing your internal barometer to that of the smell's consistency. He pointed inside the bowl, a emulsion of shit and blood filled the white ceramic. A thin layer of mucus was floating on top. But floating on some undecided plane inside the mixture there was definitely an egg-shaped, egg-size, egg.
    “what do I do?”, he asked with not a small amount of cracking fear in his voice,
    “Why are you asking me?”
    “I don't know”, he looked down, ashamed,
    “I thought you'd understand”. I felt awful, this poor man had come to me because he thought I was an understanding, good chap and I had let him down.“What with all your arse problems and that”
    “What do you mean 'arse problems'? What are you on about?”
    “You had all that time off last year for your arse, I thought maybe I had what you had”
    “I've got irritable bowel syndrome. I wasn't shitting eggs! No one is shitting eggs. I think I can safely hypothesise that this is one of the only situations that has ever occurred where someone has shit any amount of eggs.”
A silence descended on the cubicle. It became obvious that whatever little knowledge I had of egg man, I was the only person in any position to help him. He probably wouldn't even tell his wife. Does he even have a wife? I realised that I did not know this man at all, I knew his name and I could probably tell you exactly why he was so bad at his job, but other than that I had no idea who he was. I then realised that not only did I not know him, I did not like him. He was one of a group of males in the office who were clich├ęs of misogyny, having been entirely outwitted by the women in the company. All of whom had been promoted to levels above them. All they had now was their sexism, which was supplemented only by their stupidity.
    But I was the only person this man could turn to, the only male who would not ridicule him for being concerned with his bodily functions. I internally sighed, remembering all the things I had to do apart from concerning myself with this man's poo. I peered into the toilet, scrutinising what I saw while trying to ignore the smell,
    “well, I think you should definitely see someone about it, just go to the doctors and see what he says, I'm sure they must just be some kind of stone, you know, like kidney stones”,
  I turned round to see what he made of this, but he was leaning against the wall. His legs buckled underneath him and he slid down to the floor. He was gurgling and staring straight ahead, his eyes were foaming slightly and his face was pulled back into his neck. He made strange combination of a popping and a cough sound and an egg forced its way out of his mouth and landed on the floor. I was less concerned with this sudden development than I might have been, but it was such a peculiar sight, a man vomiting full eggs. At the same time there was a loud cracking sound and yellow fluid began to leak out of his trousers. He was shaking violently and was now choking on the egg shaped sick that was coming out of his mouth. I overcame my gawking inaction and knelt down, using my fingers to spoon the eggs out of his mouth, but it re-filled so fast that I ended up just pushing it solidly down his neck, making him choke even more.
    I stood back, filled with revulsion and pity for this man. I turned to run for help but the man I had met in the roadside cafe was blocking my way. He pretended to look surprised at seeing me, but I hadn't heard footsteps before he walked in, so he must have been waiting around the corner until exactly this chosen moment.
    “What are you doing here?”
    “I'm sorry? I was just going to use the facilities, what exactly is it that you want?”
    “There's a bloke secreting eggs in the cubicle, don't tell me you have nothing to do with that. For fuck's sake, I only ever see you when something odd is happening so you may as well cut to the chase and tell me what significance this has. I hope you haven't killed him”
    “You didn't even like him!”, his indignant face stayed hard like a tangerine squeezed. Come to think of it, all of his features implied citrus fruits of sorts. His puff-bobbled, orange peel skin; his lemon teat nose; his broken clementine chin. Too fruity to speak of in definite terms, but his eyes were similar to limes dented in A4, paper-white balls.
    “You sly bastard, you hated that man. And now he's full of eggs and you're blaming me? I find that quite hard to swallow, I am helping you find that Geoff character and all I get from you is an accusation.
    “I don't even know who Geoff is, and then I'm in a fucking desert chasing that curly haired twat without even knowing why! So I don't care if you have been helping me find Geoff, because I don't exactly want to find Geoff, I just want to know who you are and why that man has shit two eggs” I realised that 'that man' had shit many more than two eggs by now. I turned around to see how many eggs he had shit. He was slumped against the wall, bleeding out of his half closed eyes. He only occasionally twitched, he was obviously close to death. The main issue, for me however,  was that all the eggs had hatched and their were thirty or forty tiny trumpets with chicken legs and wings stumbling around his body. I picked one up and put it to my ear, I could hear that it was playing very high pitched free jazz. The man stirred slightly, and started to groan, I dropped the tiny trumpet and went close to him. He jerked up, opening both eyes so fully that his eyeballs suddenly seemed far too small for his sockets, empty space surrounded his face-souls. He coughed out the last of the egg shell and blood, “I can't stand free jazz, it's got no relation to anyone but the performers conception of their own virtuosity”, and with that, he was dead.
    I turned around to see where the well dressed man was. But the hand dryer was on and he was gone. This was well and truly stupid. I couldn't think exactly what I was meant to do at this point. If this wasn't a hallucination or some kind of dream then I  wasn't sure what the rest of my colleagues would make of tiny trumpets with wings. I turned round and looked at the little buggers, quite cute really. Just as I was considering what to do with the tiny, brass bastards, two men in white overalls strolled into the toilets. They nodded at me and both grabbed an arm of the dead man. They both nodded to each other and began to pull. I'm not exactly sure what I expected to be happening, but the mans body split like a wet ice cream cone. Soft and pliable, his face ripped in half, and slowly, his whole body pulled apart. The noise was of ripping fabric but his peritoneum dropped out into his lap as his skin split, and then that broke open and his organs slopped out onto the floor. Both of his half-faces were fixed in disbelief, I assumed he was still thinking about free jazz. Once his body had been split in two, they both grabbed their piece and nodded. They then walked into separate cubicles and forced them down the toilet. It seemed surprisingly easy to push half a body down a toilet, I wondered why more people didn't dispose of bodies this way. Maybe they did, and I just didn't know. As they were flushing his death away, another man came in who the tiny trumpets seemed to really like, they flocked too him and ran up his legs playing solos into his pockets. He was holding a mop and bucket and proceeded to clean up the blood. They all finished their respective jobs, nodded at me, and left.
There isn't much toilet paper left.

I live in a house with two women. This must affect our toilet paper usage. Though I feel it would be unfair to charge them extra.
I was falling asleep, reading a book. I thought maybe it was a gas leak in the place where I live. I stayed in my chair, my head nodding, vaguely wondering whether this was the beginning of a beautiful death.
I woke up a while later and went outside. Today was a day for things to blow in to my eye and make them stream. People think I'm crying as I walk past them. The inevitability of the awkward moment haunts me.
I'm sweating as I write this, exhausted and bored. Logic leaves you nothing, and living leaves you dead.
I was writing yesterday's post and found this recording. I could never use it, but it is beautiful. I watched her practising while the rest of the orchestra chatted and drank instant coffee.





I walked around Mile End today. I was hungover and full of confusion and sadness. I walked around trying to take field recordings, but everywhere sounded the same. Mile End sounds like anywhere; traffic, people, machinery.




I saw these... I don't even know what they would be called. Park rangers I suppose. Park rangers with leaf blowers. But the park is so small. Maybe they  do Victoria Park and some of the small patches of grass that seem to litter the east end.



I recorded them and took these photos. I wanted what I perceived they had. I could see one of them blowing water away in shaking waves. It looked satisfying. Taking pictures and recording sound wasn't satisfying. It was stupid and meaningless. They weren't meaningless. They could see their leaf blowers moving things. Leaves. And water. They looked up at me and I tried not to flinch, and I thought how whole and complete they were, and in turn, how weightless and lacking I was.


Then they walked back to their van, and I realised that they were leaving for another park. Another place to blow leaves away. Or suck them in. Or whatever it is that leaf blowers do. Other peoples' work always looks so satisfying. Other peoples' lives always feel more real.

 

Other people have more existence, more weight, than I do. But only while I can see them.
I have recently had a paranoid fantasy where my top teeth begin to receed, and my bottom teeth become more and more prominent. Like some freakish, grinding herbivore.
I cut my nail too short, and now my finger feels like it is spilling out. I can't push it back it in.
I'm not well. There is a weighty, glooping pain in my abdomen. Sporadic and extended bouts of wind, are followed by a hard, round lump to which I am forced to be grateful. Despite the blood on my toilet paper.
  I thought I might abstain from drinking tonight but my parents produced a bottle of Croatian sparkling wine. And who could refuse that?
The reality sickness; that disconnection between one's perceptions of the world, and one's awareness of the unattainable reality that sits beyond that perception. Satre called it nausea, Baudrillard described the desert of the real, Meillassoux felt that he was in a glacial world, and Dominic Fox recently carved out his idea of the cold world. But you cannot inhabit this world; that is entirely the point of these descriptions. The disconnection, the coldness, the sickness. These describe not the real, but a third place, from which you can see both worlds, and access neither.