This week’s arts pick highlights society’s obsession with mobility and the resulting eradication of privacy and traditional boundaries. To portray the potential devastating consequences of our absurd fixation with mobile devices, the artist uses both location and well-chosen, commonplace materials.
First, consider the location. The piece is installed at the end of a long, dark passage, which serves as a metaphor for the most dangerous part of our collective subconscious. The idea of an open-air, itinerant toilet may seem far-fetched, but many of today’s most insidious and nefarious objects originated in the same dark recess that is represented by this alley.
Next, observe the materials chosen by the artist. The subject is a juxtaposition of two items whose invention changed the course of humankind. The toilet signifies the bodily functions that enslave a society striving for complete control and automation of its environment. The toilet is our prison. Wheels, however, connote freedom and mobility and a desire to escape the confinement of our inconvenient bodies. Escape, however, does not come without a price. The artist deliberately omits the traditional “stall,” warning us that our control and mobility mania will ultimately erode the remaining boundaries of decency, which are crucial for preserving a semblance of humanity.
This arts pick is currently located in the Old City neighborhood of Philadelphia. However, due to the piece’s transportable nature, its venue is subject to change without notice.