30.10 – 01.11.2014

Gabrielle Mainguy & Ayumi Matsuzaka

outside, northwest corner


An ordinary, normal, and mundane act, when repeated every day by every single person on the planet, takes on a great deal of power and creates enormous consequences. If this act has unobserved negative effects, we may be silently damaging our civilisation without even noticing. This is precisely what we are doing when we use flush toilets. However simple it may be, each flush of a toilet is linked to a long chain of consequences. Waste doesn’t exist; as a concept, it doesn’t reflect reality. All matter should have a place within a cycle of transformation and be beneficial in all stages. It is aberrant to throw away our body “waste”: the nutrients it contains can support the growth of more food and life. This installation demonstrates an individual’s potential to produce terra preta, the type of extremely fertile dark soil found in the Amazon basin. We carried out a three-day experiment to observe the daily transfers of matter that occur in a basic lifestyle. The documentation of this experiment is exhibited here, along with illustrations showing potential large-scale implications.

In collaboration with: Georg Liebig, Gemeinschaftsgarten Prachttomate, Botanischer Garten Berlin-Dahlem

Lit sustainably by Little Sun solar-powered lamps