Before I tell you about this next news story, I have a confession: I didn't think any of this was real. When one of our listeners sent me a link to a press release about this public art project, I thought I was being punked.
It turns out, I was wrong. The Houston Piss Drive is a very real thing.
A local art gallery, State Museum of Contemporary Art, is asking art enthusiasts and Left leaning political activists to fill a "capture container" with your urine. Why? To help pass a drug test? Nope. So they can use your piddle for a public art display.
I know, this is highly unusual. Again, I thought this was a joke when I first heard the news.
As strange as it may seem, an NYC based artist named Cassils is trying to make a statement about transsexual bathroom rights by putting on this circus sideshow. Apparently transsexual people are very upset about the bathrooms laws in this country so Cassils is going to fight back against the potty police by playing with human waste. How reasonable and mature! Cassils dislikes the laws regarding transsexual people and bathrooms, so the artist wants to make artwork using the urine of you and your friends as an alternative to normal store-bought paint in order to make a statement.
As her (or his?) website says, "Cassils is a Queer Artist Who Collected 200 Gallons of Urine to Protest Federal Trans Bathroom Guidelines."
From what I can tell, Cassils uses the transsexual lifestyle as a staple for marketing the artist's work. But transsexual themed art is more than just a marketing ploy, it appears to be an entire genre.
The Huffington Post said Cassils is, "one of ten transgender artists who are changing the landscape of contemporary art." Who are the other nine? Who knows.You might be wondering why the artist chose Houston for this art project (a similar operation took place in NYC last year). While it's not completely clear what motivated the decision, Houston is home to the infamously rejected HERO Ordinance. The Houston Equal Rights Ordinance (“HERO”) was a 2015 public referendum that asked the community to decide if we want fully grown men to have a legal right to use the same public bathroom as little girls.
Of course, the HERO Ordinance was an absolute failure. Houston voters did not like the idea and these are the same Houston voters who chose Annise Parker, an outspoken lesbian activist, to be their mayor on more than one occasion. It's not that Houston has a problem with transsexual people, but this law were just a bit too much for Houston's black Christian moderate Democrat voter base (not to mention the Republicans).
In case you're confused about what gender pronoun to use for Cassils (I was) shim's website breaks it down for you:
"Cassils is a gender non-conforming trans masculine visual artist. Cassils uses plural gender-neutral pronouns (they, them, their) and a single name (as opposed to first and surname) and asks that journalists do likewise when referring to them. This singularity of name and plurality of gender reflects through language the position Cassils occupies as an artist. For guidelines on writing about gender non-conforming people, please reference the GLAAD Media Reference Guide on Transgender Issues"
Has anyone ever consulted a non-profit group for help with pronoun usage? That seems like the sort of thing we learned about in elementary school, but I digress, that's a topic for another time. Today we're here to talk about transsexual themed urine art.
If you've been following along thus far through this story, you've probably noticed by now that my tone on the topic is not exactly fervent. Look, I don't have a problem with transsexual people. I also don't have a problem taboo art. If you want to change your gender (or place with your feces) and you don't expect me to pay for it (or look at it), fine. Go for it! Snip snip (or flush-flush).
But if people like Cassils (by which I mean, transsexual activists masquerading as artists) want us to be sympathetic to their cause, this technique isn't working. It's hard for me to take you or your politics seriously when you literally make a living by playing with other people's waste. If transsexual bathroom rights are, in fact, a pressing issue, your shock-jock attempt at capturing my attention reminds me more of Howard Stern and the cast of Jackass than Rosa Parks or Harriet Tubman.
Of course, they have a right to do this and I support them (from a legal stand point). The First Amendment is very clear. While I'm a bit nauseated at the thought of what these people are doing, I'll defend their right to do it until the day I die.
In the mean time, if you want Cassils to play with your tinkle, just head on over to Station Museum in Houston and tell someone you want to give them a container of your urine. Believe it or not, it's someone's job to accept your donation. That's how these people get a paycheck.
Wow! Trump's economy is kicking so much ass that you can even make a living collecting urine and turning it into artwork.
So have at it, Houston! Fill up four containers if you want. These people are very enthusiastic about getting their hands on your piddle.
What a country.
View this post on Instagram
HOUSTON PISS DRIVE: BE PART OF (ART) HISTORY. BE PART OF THE PERFORMANCE. (link in bio). . In the remounting of PISSED urine will be donated by the citizens of Houston through a “urine drive” in act of solidarity. . We are collecting YOUR piss from TODAY till Nov 1, 2018. . Citizens, cis- and transgender alike, will hyperperform an otherwise private and bodily function, making the material needs of the body confrontationally public and social. . All you need to do is pick up your free Collection Kit and start pissing. . Once your bottle is filled you can drop it off at the Station Museum and it will be assembled as part of the sculpture. . THE INCENTIVE: GOLD FOR GOLD . In addition to being part of an important, timely and urgent piece of political art, Cassils is giving all donors, who drop off more than two full 3 liter bottles to urine for the PISSED sculpture, a fine art print from their latest series Alchemic. . This is a beautiful, signed, limited edition print on archival paper. #pissed #houstonpissed #urinedrive#performanceart #particapate #goldforgold #gavingrimm #alchemy #actionnotwords #transfederalbathroomguidlines #transbathrooms #transbathroomrights #publicsculpture #houston #empathynotapathy #notmypresident
View this post on Instagram
The wonderful @hughoryan conducted this thoughtful interview with Out Magazine about my recent exhibition #Monumental @feldmangallery. I just left the gallery a couple days ago and had to come to terms with the fact that since I won't be in New York before the closing of the show ( Oct 28) I may never see the #PISSED sculpture again. Though an object now, the medium is urine, The property that will break down and like my performances, eventually will become ephemeral. The sculpture is an index of the volume of urine a body must contend with but it also indexes the passage of time. Every day the urine turns a little bit darker. Despite working with the bio chemist and trying to preserve it, like all things that come from the body, it is starting to decompose. Eventually it will turn black. The disintegration of the material is both real and metaphoric to the current Socio political situation. Go check it out if you can and let me know how it's rotting!. https://www.out.com/art-books/2017/9/27/queer-artist-collected-200-gallons-urine-protest-federal-trans-bathroom-guidelines ( hot link to article in bio)
View this post on Instagram
5 days till the opening!!! The 200 gallons have arrived- the photos are getting hung, the speakers installed, the final mix reverberating, projectors calibrated, glass sculptures suspended, platform constructed, 24 hour urine capture containers girded, venal adheased, walls built and painted, interviews given and piss is being poured. Event info: https://www.facebook.com/events/1442224389194124/?ti=icl . . Alchemic. New photo series made with @beautyisboring. Part of my new exhibition "Monumental", @feldmangallery, opening Sep 16- Oct. #alchemy #transembodiment #societiesperceptionistheproblem #mybodyisnottheproblem #allartallthetime #durationalperformance #transinvisibility #transvisibility
View this post on Instagram
It was an insane day. Scorching heat above 100 degrees. I, the amazing studio slut @derekcornz, and my friend @mwwrites loaded 200 gallons of piss, collected from six fridges, stored in friends garages, living rooms and studios across Los Angeles. We then brought all several hundred bottles back to my backyard where we assembled them into 50 gallon tanks for transport. With mild sun stroke and the added craziness of the VICE news team following us, at 8:30 pm we wrapped and drank a cold beer ( we started at 7 am). 😅🔥😷PHEW!!!!! Thank you so much to @thesnowmercy - who broke the preservative code with her Bio Chem/ dom skills and all the amazing generous folks who let me store piss in their spaces @andycampy @msjenniferlocke @stegersaurus9 @ameliagjones6005 @pauldonald5 @amandamarsalis . Special thank you to my wife for putting up with me pissing in a bucket day and night for the last 200 days. Thank you to those who donated urine to make up for the 30 days I was out of the city: @martinnepton @ponylee1102 @werk_out @msjenniferlocke @stegersaurus9 @mwwrites @kpepe @barberian_gayblade @jparr @derekcornz @artmaxquigley @lori.woodley @hausofmarsian @michaelgamble @kathleenhenderson @catpeternelle @alexasher7 @cristymichel and deanie. Thank you also to @robynpix who documented the whole day and took this pic!!