Medium: Virtual Reality game
Availible via: vimeo.com/242227325 (screen recording)
Year: 2017
Exhibited: Willem de Kooning Open Day
In collaboration with: Natasja Bokkerink, Myrna de Bruijn, Nelleke Hogendoorn

What started with a protest in the form of a single sheet of paper, strategically placed beside the entrances of the public toilet at the Rotterdam central market, developed into a virtual experience where the viewer is forced through a speculative, futuristic perspective on gender binarity.

Footage of the intervention at the Rotterdam central market.

The discussion about gender raises a lot of questions among those who never experienced any problem with it. They often fail to realize the mental impact it has on someone who falls outside of the societal norms of gender.

If you don’t identify as male or female than something as simple as going to the toilet becomes a stressful and very conscious choice. It feels like you’re forced to choose between two, for you, unrelated options. It doesn’t matter what you pick, it won’t feel like you belong there. It raises the question of what the benefit of this choice is? What if we could work towards a simpler environment in which everyone feels included?

FUTURE POTTY TRAINING places the viewer in the public sanitary environment of the future. As you try to find the toilet you are faced with very personal choices that seem to have incomplete and illogical options. The timer is ticking away and you start to experience the pressure of the environment that forces you to comply with its system. If you managed to reach the end you are confronted with our statement: ‘Gender isn’t as black and white as you think. One stall fits all’.

Through this game, the visitor experiences that ‘just pick one’ is not always a viable option for everyone. We propose to remove the choice as a whole and implement gender-neutral toilets everywhere, removing the stress and bringing inclusivity with it. During our field research we spoke with several members of the LGBTQHA community in Rotterdam. They gave us valuable feedback on this project and shared that gender-neutral toilets would be a major help in their daily lifes.

Rotterdam based
Digital artist