Art 262

When Alice was the only student not to construct a piece of campus installation art that was overtly sexual, the tenured professor asked her why. She hadn’t gotten tired of sex, she said. Or thought the body-sized breasts around campus were childish. She really just loved the way the tin cans looked hanging from the sad arms of trees or suspended from gutters. And no, it wasn’t an anti-establishment, anti-phallus, or anti-vaginal philosophy she was promoting. It was just some tin cans hanging from trees near the Ultimate Frisbee quad, the Hartwell Science Center, and the entrance to Old Main nearest the President’s office. And other than the professor ask- ing her why she hadn’t been more ambitious with her installation, no one cared about the cans, until it rained. Because when it rained, and the cans overflowed, it became clear it wasn’t just rainwater spilling out onto the Tri-Delt pledges’ yellow umbrellas. Because when it rained and she was con- fronted by the art professor again—this time with the College President— Alice explained, in the face of suspension or expulsion, as she hung the tin cans she filled them with urines she collected from her suitemates on the third floor of Mackey. The urines, she said, they brought her in little containers the nurse kept stacked beneath her office desk. And though Alice admits she was tempted at first to mix them, she did not, so that each can belonged to its own unique donor. And when the President for the third and final time asked her why, she said she didn’t know whose urine overran the can outside Old Main and spoiled his favorite sport coat, the one with the beige suede patches, which he had worn to work every Friday for the better part of fifteen years.

Brendan Todt writes poetry, (some) fiction, and reads way too many science books for his own good. He owes the inspiration for this story to his sister, Brigette, and the many bizarre Knox College installations through-out the years.