The incredible ‘poo machine’ modern art exhibit that helps scientists fight bowel cancer

Inside Australia’s ‘poo machine’: Modern art exhibit helps fight bowel cancer – and, yes, it mimics the scent

  • Sitting in his own room in a Hobart art museum is the wacky Cloaca Professional
  • The machine recreates the processing of human food from consumption to defecation
  • But the strange device is as useful as it is a humorous critique of modern art.
  • Recently the ‘poo machine’ showed how easy it is to search for bowel cancer










At the back of a museum is a unique exhibit that both delights modern art lovers and helps scientists fight bowel cancer.

The Cloaca Professional, better known as the ‘poo machine’, has been enjoyed by visitors to the MONA Museum in Hobart since it was first installed in 2010.

The unique meeting of engineering and art reproduces the gastrointestinal process in the human body, consuming food every day at 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. and excreting it at 2 p.m.

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At the back of a modern art museum is a unique exhibit (pictured) known as the poo machine

Cloaca Professional reproduces the gastrointestinal process in the human body, consuming food daily at 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. and excreting it at 2 p.m.

Cloaca Professional reproduces the gastrointestinal process in the human body, consuming food daily at 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. and excreting it at 2 p.m.

The mechanical exhibit, designed by European artist Wim Delvoye, is however more than just a satire of the modern art world and has recently been used in teaching bowel cancer screening tests.

Tasmanian-based pathologist Dan Owens held a demonstration at the museum late last year, where he showed how waste can be analyzed for extremely small blood particles.

Advertised under the hashtag #justpooit, the event was largely aimed at encouraging Australians over 50 to get screened for bowel cancer.

He told the ABC: “Once people understand putting the stick in their poo, they will realize that it is very simple and easy. “

Mr. Delvoye spared no detail about the authenticity of his invention and even recreated the smell of human excrement.

Named Cloaca in an appropriate translation of the Latin word for sewer, the machine is described as “basically” simple by the senior research curator at the Jane Clark Museum.

She said: “The food enters through the mouth, is chewed (in Cloaca by an InSinkErator) and goes down into a long tube where it is mixed with sodium hydroxide, hydrochloric acid and gastric enzymes.

“It is then kept at the correct temperature of 37.2 ° C, worked on by intestinal bacteria, somewhat dehydrated and finally excreted.”

Mr. Delvoye created the Cloaca after eight years of advising plumbers, computer scientists and gastroenterologists.

The wacky artist has crafted a handful of versions of his iconic Clocoa machine, the MONA iteration being the first to appear in a museum’s permanent collection.

Wacky artist Wim Delavoye has designed a handful of versions of his iconic Clocoa machine, the iteration at MONA (pictured) being the first to appear in a museum's permanent collection

Wacky artist Wim Delavoye has designed a handful of versions of his iconic Clocoa machine, the iteration at MONA (pictured) being the first to appear in a museum’s permanent collection

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Reggie S. Williams

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