I admit it: I love poop. There's so much to love! Behind the closed stall door lie fascinating conversations about design, architecture, history, privacy, theories on the body, on dirt and socialization. Intellectually speaking, it's the gift that keeps on giving.
That said, I'm not very interested in sharing my shit in person, in pictures or in smell-o-vision. I understand that not everyone feels this way, which has given rise to websites like (WARNING: Not for Work!) Rate My Doodie and ShareMyShit. The latter is a social network (and Twitter feed) for people who want to...well, you know. Its creator, Jeff, and I emailed a few months ago, and it turns out there's more to it than what meets the big, brown eye:
I am artistically fascinated by the concept of taboo. The unspoken social contracts around certain subjects highlight the dark aspects, the shadow of human identity that most would rather not think about. Individually and culturally, we try to repress our shadow selves, only to find darkness slipping through the cracks in unexpected, unintended or destructive ways. A healthy mind is one that embraces all aspects of our humanity, even the less-convenient ones, and this involves thinking about things that make us uncomfortable.
Professionally, I am fascinated by social media and how it is changing the nature of some of those unspoken social contracts. So ShareMyShit is just a convenient marriage of some of my interests.
We've already opened up our personal lives, thoughts and pictures to the internet--perhaps this is the next step?
What I do share on a regular basis is art. Once a week, in fact, I meet with six other artists as part of Club Make and Do, or c(mad). C(mad) is a dynamic collective of artists working in different mediums who commune weekly to share, dialogue and support each other's practice. And we're having a sharing tomorrow night with beautiful images, performance art, music, wine and more!
Thursday, September 15, 7:30-10:00 The Soho Gallery for Digital Art (138 Sullivan Street between Houston and Prince) $5-10 sliding scale, refreshments will be served.
I'll be showing a short preview of Eat $h*t: How Our Waste Can Save the World, an interactive cooking show (no poop, I promise!) where we'll journey from kitchen to commode for an uncensored look at the imbalanced bowels of an American society consuming itself. (The full show performs one night only, Oct. 19 at Dixon Place!)
Looking forward to seeing you there and, as always, peaceful pooping.
Shawn "The Puru" Shafner