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Highlights from our online summer travel series.

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By Sarah Hamilton

Our new Arts Editor Sarah Hamilton took to the road this summer with Yes Men member Patrick Lichty on a most intriguing mission: to help bio artists Tony Allard and Adam Zaretsky track down a jar of William S. Burroughs’ poop for a controversial art project, “Mutate or Die.”

Image courtesy of Sarah Hamilton

Allard hands Propst a small cedar box. His two friends on either side, Propst opens the box and pulls out a dirty handkerchief, followed by the petit jar of the preserved poop.
“Does it have any odor?” Ohle asks. Propst gingerly unscrews the top of the jar and takes a deep breath.

“It’s a slimy barn yard, bit like a feed lot at seven miles away,” he responds, offering the jar to Ohle to confirm. Ohle too inhales and shrugs his shoulders in agreement with Propst’s assessment.

Allard and Zaretsky are currently making a documentary about Burroughs’ peculiar literary artifact. In fact, they have just completed three days in a Kansas City, Missouri, lab extracting a core sample from Burroughs’ feces with the hope that they might be able to get a sample of Burroughs’ DNA. With support from Grand Arts, also based in Kansas City, the pair is documenting their process to extract the DNA and purchase a gene gun to shoot the material into other biological organisms.

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