William S. Burroughs’ Shit May One Day Spawn a Race of Mutant Worrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrms.

From H+ Magazine.

I will never get over the deep sense of existential despair I feel in linking to AOLNews, but in this case the punishment fits the crime.

David Moye’s AOLNews post on the project Mutate or Die: A W.S. Burroughs Biotechnical Bestiary, from artists Adam Zaretsky and Tony Allard, hurts my BRAIN. I’m not sure I’ll ever recover. Moye summarizes an article by the artists published last week in H+ Magazine. Here’s the shit, from Moye:

Zaretsky, who has a background in biotech, and Allard, a college professor in San Diego, say their plan is to “take a glob” of the preserved poop, isolate the DNA and make lots of copies of it.

After that, they will soak the DNA dust in gold dust and load it into a “gene gun,” a modified air pistol used to insert DNA into plants, worms, rats and humans for experiments.

The DNA dust collected from the poop will be loaded into the pistol, which will then be shot into a mix of blood, poop and semen and then, according to the artists, be declared either a “living bio-art,” a “new media print,” a “living cut-up literary device” or a mutant sculpture.

Allard admits the concept is, for many people, like poop itself: not easy to grasp even if you’re fully aware of its purpose.


“Not easy to grasp?” You can mother!#%$#$%@#@ing say that again, people. But then, Burroughs tended to have that effect on people even when he wasn’t a shit-borne mutant covered in gold dust and pumped up a worm’s bejeezus.

I’m perplexed by this project on a number of levels — first, that I was unaware you could really get viable DNA from poop, in cloning terms. Turns out my misgivings are right; Moye quotes Allard as saying, “The amount of DNA in the s–t is fairly minuscule; it’s more like the DNA of what was in his gut at the time.”

So when the army of mutant Burroughs worms takes over the world, you should know that they’re actually worms mutated by the DNA of the E. coli spewing from Burroughs’ asshole, not so much by Burroughs himself.

But hey, aren’t we all what we eat?

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2 comments on “William S. Burroughs’ Shit May One Day Spawn a Race of Mutant Worrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrms.
  1. Actually you can extract great gobs of viable DNA out of poop. Most of it is bacterial but there is a bit of human colon-lining in there.

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