Mad meditation #2: Toilets

Don't Miss A Sec

Window-cleaning ‘Don’t Miss A Sec’, an art installation by Monica Bonvicini which stood outside Tate Britain in 2003 and functioned as a public toilet for passers-by, only in a cubicle made from one-way glass like you get in police interrogation rooms. The artist explained in an interview that “it relates to the urge, during big art events where so much is about “see and be seen,” to not miss anything. At any big art event, everyone needs a bathroom at some point. If you use the work for it, you are still able to see the next artwork, who is passing by, who is talking with whom, and who is wearing what. At the same time, you can literally show your ass to them.”

Today is World Toilet Day, so I thought I’d celebrate it with a look at some toilet tips. Click on the links to find out more!

Facts

We spend 20 minutes on average per day on the toilet.

More people own a mobile phone than a toilet.

Solid space waste is disposed of on earth, while liquid space waste is either ejected out into space or, if you’re on the International Space Station, filtered and drunk.

The original ‘Fountain’ by Marcel Duchamp is lost and what we see in galleries are replicas commissioned by the artist decades after he scandalised New York in 1917.

Tips

If you care about going to the toilet responsibly then check out Dungaroo, a cheap and waterless eco-friendly toilet concept, originally crowdfunded and with a year to go till production stages. Designed for “helping the world, one toilet at a time”, it encourages humans to dispose of their own waste instead of polluting the environment.

Want to break the habit of reading/texting on your toilet throne? Why not install a squat toilet? Squat toilets, though deemed less sophisticated  and more primitive than sitting toilets, may be better for your health. The squatting posture, though uncomfortable, is not only more natural but also makes it easier to empty your bowels, and get some exercise while you’re at it. And they also occupy less space – I once showered in a room consisting of a sink, a squat toilet, and a shower-head fitted to the wall – perfect for studio apartments.

Have you ever panicked when outdoors and suddenly needed the toilet? Now there’s an app to resolve that problem. Flushd is an app that helps you find a public restroom when you “need to go”. Not only that, but you can find how what facilities a toilet has, its quality rating, and eco-friendliness too, and enter your own toilet review. Oh, and you can also log your toilet behaviour.

Want to become more likely to get lucky? Here are 5 feng shui tips for creating a better chi, or energy, flow in your toilet room: (1) locate the toilet room at the corner of a building and never near the centre where the chi is concentrated, (2) cover the toilet lid to minimise the rate of escaping chi, (3) colour the room with earth tones to balance out the water element, (4) avoid nautical designs or anything that represents the water element to avoid imbalance of the elements, and (5) hang a crystal above the toilet to refract the chi so that it doesn’t travel straight down the drain.

Want to see, use, or even eat out of unique toilets? After Duchamp the next greatest toilet icon must be Hundertwasser, whose public toilets may be found in Vienna and Kawakawa. If you’re looking to go to the toilet after a drink or bite to eat then from personal experience I can also recommend Café Diglas in Vienna, which not only serves fantastic coffee but also has deceivingly transparent toilet cubicles! Other great toilet eateries may be found closer to home (in my case the UK). In London you can also join the one-of-a-kind London Loo Tour, or listen to the audio tour online. Asia you can dine at Modern Toilet, a restaurant chain that opened in Taiwan in 2004 and has since expanded on the continent, serving food that looks like what comes out of you when you go to the toilet in different types of toilet basins. Lastly, in South Korea you can visit the world’s first toilet-themed park.

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