December of 2011 saw the rhizomal effect of Solar CITIES biogas builds reach ever further -- from a chance encounter in Nairobi to a workshop in Slovakia, within a few months we were in Budapest giving a workshop to see if we could extend the gift of home scale biogas to the Roma -- the gypsies who have been so disenfranchised and abused throughout Eastern Europe.
Our biogas building workshop in Budapest demonstrated the Solar CITIES IBC system for colder climates and enjoyed the crowd sourcing, collective intelligence nature of the participants, who came up with many great ideas for improvements!
The completed insinkerator-based-biogas system at the Godor Culture Center in Budapest (though sans manure and water) was a work of "installation art"; Kovách Eszter and Attila Mester did a masterful job of interleaving presentations, breakout-groups, panel discussions and actual BUILDING, so as to make the two day event both informative and practical and hands and minds on. Thankyou guys, and thank you Hungary! Let us continue the momentum, transformation "demonstrations" from protests into true "demonstrations" of better ways of living!
The read plastic bag that Attila Szenczi-Molnar is holding is an innovation that Attila Mester and I came up with for increasing internal surface area in the digestor tank using local materials from an Agriculural shop. With the top supported by corks and the bottom weighted for verticality with small stones we create an internal living wall for biofilm formation that is free to move about the tank.
We got the following responses in our facebook group Solar CITIES Biogas Innoventors and Practitioners:
Csécsei Ilona · Friends with Attila Mester
December 4, 2011 at 2:48pm · Like
Gordon Camenzuli One of the most valuable workshops I've ever attended. Thanks Thomas for sharing your knowledge and enthusiasm.
December 5, 2011 at 2:20pm · Unlike · 1
Attila Mester It was a great experience to invent together with Thomas Henry Culhane!
December 5, 2011 at 3:38pm · Like · 1
Attila Mester I would like to thank you in the name of all of us, that you were here and infected us with your enthusiasm. It lit the light in so many brains! We are really comitted to spread the methods in Hungary and become part of the international cooperation in building/constant reinventing of the equipments and in developing the community, the network of low-tech green energy.
December 5, 2011 at 4:22pm · Unlike · 4
Thomas Henry Culhane Thank YOU Attila, Eszter and all; I look forward to more Hungarian magic! If anybody can bring this "low hanging fruit" to the people so that it blossoms and provides perpetual warmth to all, you can!
December 6, 2011 at 12:32pm · Like
It was here, on stage with Culhane, that a Hungarian artist read Hundertwasser´s "Shit Manifesto", one of the most important documents for our movement ever. I reproduce it here
Hundertwasser's "Shit Culture" Manifesto
VEGETATION HAS TAKEN MILLIONS OF YEARS TO COVER THE SLUDGE, THE TOXIC SUBSTANCES WITH A LAYER OF HUMUS, A LAYER OF VEGETATION AND A LAYER OF OXYGEN, SO THAT MAN CAN LIVE ON EARTH. BUT UNGRATEFUL MAN THEN FETCHES THE SLUDGE AND THE TOXINS, COVERED WITH PAINSTAKING COSMIC CARE, BACK UP TO THE EARTH’S SURFACE. THUS THE ATROCIOUS ACT OF IRRESPONSIBLE MAN MAKES THE END OF THE WORLD THE SAME AS THE BEGINNING OF TIME. WE ARE COMMITTING SUICIDE. OUR CITIES ARE CANCEROUS ULCERS. YOU CAN SEE THAT CLEARLY FROM THE AIR. WE DO NOT EAT WHAT GROWS IN OUR OWN COUNTRY, BUT IMPORT OUR FOOD FROM FAR AWAY, FROM AFRICA, AMERICA, CHINA AND NEW ZEALAND. NOR DO WE KEEP OUR SHIT. OUR EXCREMENT, OUR WASTE IS WASHED FAR, FAR AWAY, WHEREBY WE POLLUTE RIVERS, LAKES AND OCEANS. OR WE TRANSPORT IT TO HIGHLY COMPLEX, COSTLY SEWAGE WORKS, AND ONLY RARELY TO CENTRALIZED DECOMPOSITION PLANTS, OR OUR WASTE IS DESTROYED. SHIT NEVER RETURNS TO OUR FIELDS. NOR TO THE PLACES WHERE OUR FOOD COMES FROM. THE CYCLE FROM FOOD TO SHIT IS WORKING. THE CYCLE FROM SHIT TO FOOD HAS BEEN BROKEN. WE HAVE A FALSE NOTION OF OUR WASTE. EVERY TIME WE FLUSH THE TOILET, THINKING IT A HYGENIC ACTION, WE VIOLATE COSMIC LAWS. FOR IN TRUTH IT IS A GODLESS DEED, A WANTON ACT OF DEATH. WHEN WE GO TO THE TOILET, LOCK OURSELVES IN AND FLUSH AWAY OUR SHIT, WE SIGN AND SEAL THE MATTER. WHY ARE WE ASHAMED? WHAT ARE WE AFRAID OF? WHAT ACTUALLY HAPPENS TO OUR SHIT AFTERWARDS IS SOMETHING WE IGNORE, LIKE DEATH. THE BOTTOM OF THE PAN IS LIKE A DOOR OPENING ONTO DEATH; WE SIMPLY WANT TO GET AWAY AS FAST AS WE CAN, FORGET THE DECAY AND PUTREFACTION. BUT WE ARE QUITE WRONG. IT IS WITH SHIT THAT LIFE FIRST BEGINS. SHIT IS MUCH MORE IMPORTANT THAN FOOD. FOOD NOURISHES ONLY MANKIND, WHICH REPRODUCES ON A MASSIVE SCALE, DIMISHES IN QUALITY AND HAS BECOME A DEADLY THREAT TO THE EARTH, A DEADLY THREAT TO VEGETATION, THE ANIMAL WORLD, WATER, AIR, THE HUMUS LAYER. BUT SHIT IS THE FOUNDATION OF OUR RESURRECTION. EVER SINCE MAN COULD THINK, HE HAS SOUGHT IMMORTALITY. MAN WANTS TO HAVE A SOUL, SHIT IS OUR SOUL. SHIT WILL ENABLE US TO SURVIVE. SHIT WILL ENABLE US TO BE IMMORTAL. WHY ARE WE AFRAID OF DEATH? THE PERSON WHO USES A HUMUS TOILET HAS NO FEAR OF DEATH, FOR OUR SHIT MAKES FUTURE LIFE AND REBIRTH POSSIBLE. IF WE FAIL TO VALUE OUR SHIT AND TURN IT INTO HUMUS TO THE GLORY OF GOD AND THE WORLD, WE LOSE OUR ENTITLEMENT TO BE PRESENT ON THIS EARTH. IN THE NAME OF FALSE HYGENIC LAWS WE LOSE OUR COSMIC SUBSTANCE, WE LOSE OUR REBIRTH. DIRT IS LIFE. STERILE CEANLINESS IS DEATH. THOU SHALT NOT KILL, AND YET WE STERILIZE ALL LIFE WITH POISON AND CONCRETE. THAT IS MURDER. MAN IS JUST A TUBE. HE PUTS THINGS IN AT ONE END AND PASSES THEM OUT, DIGESTED, AT THE OTHER. THE MOUTH IS AT THE FRONT, THE ANUS AT THE BACK. WHY? IT SHOULD BE THE OTHER WAY ROUND. WHY IS EATING POSITIVE? WHY IS SHIT NEGATIVE? WHAT COMES OUT OF US IS NOT WASTE, BUT THE MATERIAL OF WHICH THE WORLD IS MADE, OUR GOLD, OUR BLOOD. THE LUNATIC INTERRUPTION TO THE CYCLE OF LIFE MAKES US BLEED, OUR CIVILIZATION BLEED, OUR EARTH BLEED. THE PERSON WHO SIMPLY LETS BLOOD, ONLY LOSES BLOOD AND NEVER REPLACES IT, WILL BLEED TO DEATH. FREUD WAS RIGHT WHEN HE SAID IN HIS INTERPRETATION OF DREAMS THAT SHIT IS A SYNONYM FOR GOLD. WE MUST NOW REALIZE THAT IT IS NOT JUST A DREAM, BUT A REALITY. WHEN PASOLINI HAD ACTORS EAT SHIT IN A FILM, IT WAS A SYMBOL OF THE CONTINUATION OF THE CYCLE, A DESPERATE SHORT CUT. WE MUST DEVOTE THE SAME LOVE, THE SAME TIME AND ATTENTION TO WHAT COMES OUT FROM “BEHIND” AS TO WHAT GOES IN “IN FRONT”. THE SAME CEREMONY AS FOR MEALS, WITH TABLE-LAYING, KNIVES, FORKS AND SPOONS, CHOPSTICKS, SILVER CUTLERY AND CANDLE-LIGHT. WE SAY GRACE BEFORE AND AFTER MEALS. NO ONE SAYS GRACE WHEN THEY SHIT. WE THANK GOD FOR OUR DAILY BREAD, WHICH COMES FROM THE EARTH. BUT WE DO NOT PRAY FOR OUR SHIT TO BE TRANSUBSTANTIATED. WASTE IS BEAUTIFUL. THE GRADING AND REINTEGRATION OF WASTE IS A JOYOUS ACTIVITY. AN ACTIVITY WHICH TAKES PLACE NOT IN CELLARS AND REAR COURTYARDS, DUNG HEAPS AND TOILET, BUT WHERE THERE IS LIGHT AND SUNSHINE, IN OUR LIVING ROOMS, OUR BEST ROOMS. THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS WASTE. WASTE DOES NOT EXIST. THE HUMUS TOILET IS A STATUS SYMBOL. WE HAVE THE PRIVILEGE OF BEING WITNESSES, WITH THE HELP OF OUR OWN WISDOM, TO THE TRANSFORMATION OF OUR OWN WASTE, OUR OWN SHIT INTO HUMUS, JUST AS A TREE GROWS AND THE HARVEST RIPENS. AT HOME WITH US, AS IF IT WERE OUR OWN CHILD. HOMO – HUMUS – HUMANITAS, THREE FATEFUL WORDS WITH THE SAME ORIGIN. HUMUS IS THE TRUE BALCK GOLD. HUMUS HAS A GOOD SMELL. THE FRAGRANCE OF HUMUS IS HOLY AND CLOSER TO GOD THAN THAT OF FRANKINCENSE. ANYONE WHO WALKS IN THE WOODS AFTER THE RAIN KNOWS ITS SMELL. IT IS NATURALLY SOMETHING OF A PRODIGIOUS STEP TO PLACE THE RUBBISH BIN IN THE CENTRE OF OUR APRTMENTS AND TO SITE THE HUMUS TOILET ON THE MOST BEAUTIFUL SPOT AS THE SEAT OF HONOUR. BUT THIS IS PRECISELY THE ABOUT-TURN WHICH OUR SOCIETY, OUR CIVILIZATION MUST NOW MAKE IF IT IS TO SURVIVE. THE SMELL OF HUMUS IS THE SMELL OF GOD, THE SMELL OF RESURRECTION, THE SMELL OF IMMORTALITY.
ALGAJOLA, VENICE, NEW ZEALAND, 1979-1980
Despite the enthusiasm for the project of transducing wastes into gas and fertility, the last message we got from our colleagues in Hungary was that they could not continue the project because "authorities" determined that biogas was somehow "to dangerous" to be brought to the Roma communities and discouraged our stalwart innoventors and practitioners for going further.
But the beat does go on -- the workshop was attended by Swiss Permaculturist Simon Westermann who took what he learned back to the Damanhur Eco-village in Italy, center of the Global Eco-village Network (GEN), and their scientists built their own IBC based biodigester and are sharing it with the world.
And so the struggle goes on!
(Below is another version of Hundertwasser´s Manifesto:)
Manifesto of Friedensreich Hundertwasser "Fuck Culture - Holy shit," + instructions by Friedensreich Hundertwasser for self a compost toilet.
I want to talk about the main cause of the decay of our civilization.The vegetation has taken millions of years to the Schleimnis, cover up the toxins,with a humus layer, a vegetation layer, a layer of oxygen, so that man can live on earth. And this ungrateful man picks up this effort with lengthy cosmic Schleimnis been uncovered and these same toxins to the surface again. Thus, bythe misdeeds of the irresponsible people of the world to the beginning of time. We are committing suicide. Our cities are cancers. From above you can see it very well. We do not eat what grows here, we get food from far and wide, from Africa, America, China and New Zealand. The shit we do not keep. Our garbage,our waste is flushed away far. We thus poison rivers, lakes and seas, or transport them within the highly complicated expensive sewage treatment plants, rare in centralized composting plants, or our waste is destroyed. The shit never comes back to our fields, never going where the food comes from. The cycle of eating works for shit. The cycle of shit to eat is broken. We make a false notion of our waste. Every time we press the rinse water, in faith, to perform a sanitary action, we are violating cosmic laws, because in truth it is a wicked deed, a sacrilegious gesture of death. If we go to the bathroom, lock from the inside and wash away our shit, we draw a line. Why are we ashamed? What are we afraid of? What happens to our shit afterwards, we repress, like the death. The toilet hole seems like the gateway to death, just away from it quickly, quickly forgotten, the rot and decay. It is just the reverse. With the shit until life begins. The shit is more important than the food. The food only gets a humanity that is mass increased, reduced in quality and become a deadly threat to Earth is a death threat to vegetation, wildlife, water, air, the humus layer. But shit is the building block of our resurrection. Since man can think he trying to be immortal. The human wants to have a soul. The shit is our soul. Through the shit we can survive. Through the shit we are immortal. Why are we afraid of death? Anyone who uses ahumus toilet, has no fear of death, because our shit makes our rebirth possible. If we do not appreciate our shit and turn it into humus in honor of God and the world, we lose our right to be present on Earth. ... In the name of false hygiene laws, we lose our cosmic substance, we lose our rebirth .... As Pasolini let eating in a film an actor shit, that was a symbol of the closing cycle, accelerating a desperate wanting. The same love, same time and care must be spent for what comes out 'behind', as for what goes in 'front'. The same ceremony as in food, with table cloths, knives, forks, spoons, chopsticks, silverware and candlelight. We have table prayers before and after eating. Beim When shit nobody prays. We thank God for our daily bread, which comes from the earth, but we do not pray, that our converter free shit back into the earth. Wastes are beautiful. Sorting and re insertion of the waste is a joyful activity. This activity does not take place in basements and backyards, on dung sites, toilets, and abortions, but where we live, where light and sun, is in the living room, in our magnificent region. There is no waste. Waste not exist. The humus toilet is a status symbol. We have the privilege to witness how, with the help of our wisdom, our own waste, transforms our own shit in humus, as the tree grows and matures the crop. In our house, as if it were our own child. Homo - humus - Humanitas, three words of the same origin fate. Humus is the real black gold. Humus has a good smell. Humus smell is holier and closer to God than the smell of incense. Who comes walking in the forest after the rain, knows that smell. Of course, there is something monstrous, when the waste container is at the center of our apartment and the humus toilet is the most beautiful place on the seat of honor. But this is exactly the reverse twist that our society must now take our civilization to survive if they want. The humus smell is the smell of God, the smell of the resurrection, the smell of immortality.