For the Dirt Banquet on 2nd April, Guerrilla Science and Bompas & Parr hosted a meal exploring the culinary implications of dirt at Crossness Pumping Station, the Victorian cathedral to sewage. Diners ate four courses and experienced a brown note whilst sat between Crossness’s four, 52 tonne pumps designed by Joseph Balgazette.
This unprecedented feast of filth will showcase dirty delicacies, such as radioactive cheese serum, imu cooked pork, Islay whiskey, fermented natto, and an aphrodisiac dessert – each course inspired by the physical, biological, ethical, architectural, social, political and temporal dimensions of dirt.
Eminent experts accompanied each course, feeding the guests with ideas about the nature of dirt: anthropologist Val Curtis guided diners through the evolution of disgust, and epidemiologist Elizabeth Pisani, author of The Wisdom of Whores spoke on sexuality.
The meal finished with an attempt to broadcast a so-called “brown-note” while guests sipped civet coffee. This sound is a theoretical infrasonic frequency (between five and nine hertz) that supposedly causes humans to lose control of their bowels due to resonance. Powerful sound- systems have been installed in Crossness and customised to emit subsonic frequencies (Sam tells me this bit did not work).