The DrinkPeeDrinkPeeDrinkPee installation at the Eyebeam Feedback exhibition in March 2008.

Drink.Pee.Drink.Pee.Drink.Pee looks at the very personal environmental issues caused by flushing our pee down the toilet: harmful algae blooms in aquatic ecosystems and pee-derived pharmaceuticals in our drinking water. How do we deal with the fact that our planet’s water cycles through a closed system? How do we take control of fact that what's in our pee ends up in the water we drink?

The installation invites visitors to sit on the toilet while facing the water fountain, as if to drink while peeing. Standing in the center provides a visceral human-sized experience of the invisible water and life cycles we often unwittingly take part in. One path of tubing diverts urine from the toilet into the first aquarium causing toxic conditions similar to those created in waterways by our existing sewage treatment infrastructure. Another path diverts urine through a handmade treatment process, covered in scribbled personal notes, that extracts nutrients for use in a house plant and liquids for use in a healthy aquarium and water fountain.

The Urine to Fertilizer DIY Kit is a handmade kit that creates a personal experience of participating in a productive food cycle. Human urine, the natural product of our bodies’ daily metabolism, is a sterile solution rich in excess nutrients. The kit lets you recycle the excess nutrients your body creates when you eat and drink into more life, locally. You can take this kit home, pee in it, and perform a biochemical reaction that transforms the nutrients in your urine into an immediately usable fertilizer to feed your own plants.

The artists also conduct workshops and events where participants are able to see their urine transformed into fertlizer on the spot.

The project has been featured in ArtNews, Treehugger, on the Discovery Channel and in national and international exhibitions.


Project Created: 
January 2008