Mutate or Die: spermy, bloody bioart made from preserved William S Burroughs turd


63 Responses to “Mutate or Die: spermy, bloody bioart made from preserved William S Burroughs turd”

  1. Boondocker says:

    8. Profit!

  2. Johnny Coelacanth says:

    Just ewww. Fucking hipsters.

  3. Anonymous says:

    “The Aristocrats!”

  4. wastrel says:

    High tech gross-out art.

    “Living” bio art: Not for long. What’s the life expectancy of sperm and blood cells mixed with feces at room temp?

  5. MrJM says:

    Well, you’ve done it again, Mr. B.!

  6. Yarp says:

    It makes “Piss Christ” sound clean and pleasant.

  7. DaveP says:

    what a stupid concept. hey, bill burroughs is intimately involved, i am so surprised at that

  8. Hank says:

    Well since doody contains serious amounts of bacteria, they’ll be unlikely to isolate any WSB DNA. But who am I to poo-poo the idea of playing with poo?

  9. Anonymous says:

    Fucking disgusting. Allow me to be the first to request a unicorn chaser. Stat.

  10. Wally Ballou says:

    It’s just not that easy to épater les bourgeois any more.

    Because after decades of this sort of thing, only your fellow hipsters are paying even the slightest attention to “art”.

    You want to get the bourgeois angry, you need to get a grant of some kind so that they’ll be paying for the shit.

  11. Matt Staggs says:

    Unicorn Chaser, PLZ.

  12. Prufrock451 says:

    Worst superhero origin EVER.

  13. ScienceandtheCity says:

    I’m pretty sure the blood and sperm are not long for this world, but there should be plenty of happy bacteria thanks to the feces.

    There are easier and more effective ways to get human genes into bacteria than with a gene gun, though. I guess that wouldn’t be called “art,” though, just “molecular biology.”

  14. WizarDru says:

    What’s the internet meme to use here? Oh, yes:

  15. Anonymous says:

    Grossest. Post. Ever.

    You couldn’t have put the photo below the cut?


  16. Zac says:

    Borroughs, I can only assume, is smiling in his grave.

  17. Sam says:

    The only way this can be art is if they deliver it properly. Put on a big show, do the sciencey bits right there in front of the crowd, maybe even masturbate, and then you got art. Otherwise, if they just show up to a gallery with a tub of shit, then that’s what they have. Shit. And if they try to sell shit to someone or make any money off shit, or even hope for just some self promotion, then they become shit themselves. If you like shit, maybe this is right up your alley? You have no taste, but good for you for trying.

    But if it’s a performance piece, that’s great, I’m all about it.

  18. signsofrain says:

    Sounds like it’d be offensive to all the senses. This is art in the same way stupid kids endlessly tagging illegible signatures over each other on subway advertisements is art — that is to say, it’s not.

    How about we take these artists, force them to frolic and play naked in their “art”, then bottle their tears and use them to mix a dye that we then use to paint bigoted epithets on basketballs made from human skin, then we have an exhibition game using the basketballs with teams composed entirely of child rapists culled from maximum security prisons. Wow, I can be an artist too!

    • cycle23 says:

      This appears to have worked on at least one subject, contrary to Wally Ballou’s statement “It’s just not that easy to épater les bourgeois any more.”

      Also, yes, your statement does display that you are likely above average in creativity, and that you get exactly what is meant: You can be an artist, too!

  19. dross1260 says:

    Well, now I know what keeps my mankind’s feces alive.

  20. drkptt says:

    Let’s make the water turn black–Frank Zappa’s buddies Ronnie and Kenny were ahead of their time!

  21. Anonymous says:

    then barf

  22. pinehead says:

    I think Johnny Coelecanth and Wally Ballou summed it up adequately @ #2 and #7. This isn’t art so much as it is the usual, boring hipster shit-dabbling (both literally and metaphorically).

  23. Anonymous says:

    Or, here’s an even better idea: flush the disgusting thing down the toilet.

  24. Tim H says:

    I’m more concerned with this project consuming a completely unique resource – Burroughs poop. There will never be more Burroughs poop in this world.

    Sadly, I think the poop itself is more interesting than the joking fake biology project the artists are enacting. I wish that the artists wouldn’t follow through on this idea.

  25. EeyoreX says:

    I’m sorry, you lost me at “fire”. If you´re not trying to clone the guy, why bother with extracting the DNA at all? It’s not like anybody’s gonna give a shit.

    On the other hand, if this project is really supposed to have any serious connection to Burroughs, then the obvious thing to do with any substance that came out of his body would be to roll it into a spliff and smoke it.
    His DNA was probably the least interesting thing about his body chemistry.

  26. ili says:

    Say, would you rub some of this powder on my lips?

  27. Pica says:

    If *I* took a dump in a mason jar full of my own ejaculate and said some pseudo-scientific garbage about DNA and “geneguns”, would it be blogworthy? -NO.

    But put the name “William S. Burroughs” in there, and you can spoil breakfast for thousands of people. CLASSY!

    If this is supposed to be commentary on the cult of celebrity, I think Jeff Koons did it in a more interesting and tasteful way.

    Speaking of which, I look forward to boingboing showcasing my new line of WILLIAM S BURROUGHS BOOKENDS!

    Each morning I defecate into a Ziploc bag while reading Naked Lunch. Then as Drugstore Cowboy plays on a 65-inch plasma screen, I fire the bag into a 2×4 using a MATTER ACCELERATOR (modified rubberband slingshot). I then stamp the words WILLIAM S. BURROUGHS into the block of untreated, kild-dried Eastern White Pine, masturbate to Ministry’s One Quick Fix, and dust the works with “DNA” I harvest from under my couch.

    Each piece is individually signed and numbered by the artist and is available on etsy for $240 each.

  28. Anonymous says:

    funny when I read a piece of shit from William S Burroughs my immediate thought was that you were talking about Naked Lunch

  29. Robert says:

    What is this I don’t even

  30. ArtF says:

    In the immortal words of the great Billy Childish: “Is this Art or is it Arse?”

  31. Griefer says:

    This just screams “first year art student”.

  32. blueelm says:

    Wow, how derivative can you get? Literally derivative. Figuratively derivative. If it were aware of that it might approach being interesting.

    But no, no…

  33. Deidzoeb says:

    It was only a few days ago I was complaining about the gallery showing adolescent D&D maps as “art.” Thank you for putting things into perspective.

  34. Jenonymous says:

    I lived in an arts program house in college, and the kids with no talent whatsoever (just a fierce weed habit and too much money) did crap like this all the time.

    Piss, poo, cutouts of gonzo pornography scotch-taped up over other students’ artwork as a “statement,” nonsense like that is the hallmark of someone with no technical talent and no imagination.

    And it’s really, really getting old.

    Reminds me of a more recent jaunt out to the galleries in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. One “artist” (some rich kid who was doing his best to dress like a 90-year-old nursing home resident, down to the ratty facial hair) had opened a “gallery” in a standalone garage. His “art?” Sketchpads, sticky notes, etc…that had been scribbled on, torn up, and put in little Ziploc bags.

    He wanted $250 each per little sandwich baggie. It looked like he tore up and bagged the recycle bin at my office.

    People like that pretty much ensure that any attempts at pushing any real artistic boundaries–or indeed showing off real skill–will be dismissed or at least viewed with a more jaundiced eye.

  35. hohum says:

    Oh, come on… Step 7 is ‘call it art…’

  36. scifijazznik says:

    Proof once again that you can’t polish a turd.

  37. Wally Ballou says:

    Hey Cory, are you SURE this is not a put-on?

    • blueelm says:

      IME no idea has ever been too stupid for art.

      • Wally Ballou says:

        no idea has ever been too stupid for art

        My guess is that “artists” such as Allard and Zaretsky are motivated by the lack of pushback.

        When Cezanne was rejected by the Paris Salon, when Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring was booed at its premiere, it provided emotional reinforcement to the idea that I’m Doing Something Totally New And Different.

        That doesn’t seem to work any more. No matter how weird the latest concept of “art” gets, the hipsters all applaud, or at least accept.

        Which is not the reaction the “artist” wants….

        • blueelm says:

          Oh no, you can still get push back these days and you can still have challenging ideas.

          It’s just that these guys don’t.

  38. Anonymous says:

    But what we’re all dying to know:
    “Is it kosher!?”

  39. kpkpkp says:

    No, please.

  40. Anonymous says:

    Unintended product of “Naked Lunch”?

  41. W. James Au says:

    Cory, dude, I love ya, but can you guys put shit like this (!) beneath a post break? I had (luckily) just finished breakfast when I scrolled into this.

  42. Anonymous says:

    If you can’t do real art (the kind that requires some actual skill and thought) you can always go for shock value.

  43. Lobster says:

    Art has always been controversial. That does not mean controversy is always art.

  44. Anonymous says:

    Well, y’know, years ago I was making my own albumen prints using my own and other’s) semen as the colloidal medium.

    Worked a treat but was it art?


  45. Anonymous says:


  46. Sapa says:

    Reminds me of when I was a new student at university and in a tour of one of the labs lab was proudly shown a fossilized turd. It was mounted on a stand as well hehe.

  47. Hank says:

    Over the years I’ve come to my own Definition Of Art: If you’ve got the balls to put a price tag on it, it’s art.

    I submit that this work is proof that my definition is correct.

  48. holtt says:

    Cutting edge? No thanks – at least not like this.

  49. grikdog says:

    Ok, I’ll grant you that’s another way to get away with murdering your wife in Mexico. Fortunately, he’s up to his eyebrows in it. Buddha was wrong; the worst hell really is unending (because you have to imagine your own way out, but the path keeps doubling back like a bad Nikita episode.)

  50. Chocolatey Shatner says:

    Yes, but is it shart?

  51. Pica says:

    {If you think Jeff Koons ever did anything interesting or tasteful then you clearly don’t know much about modern art.}

    I said MORE interesting and tasteful. Obviously you have a FAR more nuanced and deep appreciation of art than *I* do, so let me help you with a math lesson:

    0 > -10.

    {Is it possible, just possible, that the problem is your presumptuous and not their ineptitude. How can you be sure?}

    Speaking of presumptuousness, is it possible, just possible, that I *have* studied art and know a turd when I see one?

    We can have a terrific debate about how juvenile and vacuous Koons is, I think he’s wildly overrated. But to paraphrase Tarantino: I don’t appreciate any artist who doesn’t have sense enough to disregard his own feces.

  52. Anonymous says:

    If you think Jeff Koons ever did anything interesting or tasteful then you clearly don’t know much about modern art.

    How come I don’t hear people who have never taken the time to understand classical music scoff at those pretentious idiots with their antiquated violins but everyone seems to think they are entitled to have their opinion on conceptual art heard, even though they don’t know the first thing about it.

    Is it possible, just possible, that the problem is your intolerance and not their ineptitude. How can you be sure?

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