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Adopt Me
by Jadestone

Published on May 20, 2022

Did you know that the Everywhen has an 'adopt a porto' program?

It started as a half-jokingly comment in the early days before the Electric Universe in the Mojave (2021) when brainstorming creative ideas. The crew thought that was a great and creative idea so a small team of two put their heads together and formed some guidelines. The really cool thing is that even though it was not promoted and was super low-key, some people at the inaugural event actually did adopt! More on that later.

A little background on the thought process of becoming a potty artist. Not every artist likes a spotlight. Some creatives like to create behind the scenes and do not want to go into great detail about what their art means. They just want to create something cool or pretty just for the sake of making something. No deep philosophical meaning or social message is involved. It's just art man! What better canvas to do that than the inside of a plastic box where all people at an event eventually have to enter? A little surprise to an otherwise not enjoyable environment.

First the guidelines for adopting a potty (and perhaps it will spark your creativity)

The knowledge that the Everywhen Project does not own the potties is key. Therefore anyone who decides to make a permanent mark on them incurs extra fees for the Project and that takes away from the art grants (and everything else)

  1. Use adhesives that Leave no Trace. These include things like:

    1. 3M Command hooks

    2. Blue painter’s tape

    3. Dorm room poster and picture adhesive tabs

  1. Be Creative but think Light. (No heavy stuff. These walls are not load-bearing)

    1. Use recycled Paper art or articles

    2. Use light wood planks

    3. Use light plastic things

    4. Use light metal things that are not sharp

    5. Use netting

    6. Use sealed glitter things (No glitter that can shed). This goes for confetti or garlands

  1. Register with the Hospitality Dome to see what potty is available to adopt.

    1. You will be expected to be awesome (or not)

    2. Take care of any maintenance of your art and trash cans inside the potty for the event

    3. Take everything out and Leave No Trace on the last day of the event

    4. Return the 'adopt a porto' sign to the Hospitality Dome at the time of adoption.

    5. Try to keep it PG (Or at least PG13). The Everywhen does have children under 18.

  1. DO NOT

    1. Make holes

    2. Paint the potty

    3. Use duct tape or tape that will leave residue

    4. Put in glitter that is not sealed (If you rub on it and it falls off = Nope) in resin or otherwise

    5. Use stuff like confetti that would come out of the potty if you opened the door in a windstorm.

    6. Use a marker on the potty

    7. Glue stuff to the potty

    8. Not return the potty to the way it was before you started on the last day of the event.

    9. Not check and clean any trash cans you put in the potty during the event

    10. WE RECOMMEND NOT DECORATING THE OUTSIDE OF THE POTTY! (The elements like wind and dust are very unkind to the light kind of things and adhesives needed to be used on the potties so as to leave no trace)

So now that we know the dos and don'ts of potty decoration we can talk about the awesome spontaneity that happened in the Mojave that first year.

As a potty user, it was a pleasant surprise to find a decorated place to answer the call of nature. The creativity displayed with no preparation was inspiring.

At the Electric Universe in the Mojave Desert in 2021 I witnessed some of the first and last minute 'adopt a porto' creations:

There was one that was decorated simply with strips of blue tape that had written jokes on them.

Another had covered the walls with wallpaper and added a fun little private trash can in the form of a gift bag.

Yet another one I witnessed simply had a couple of solar lights inside it. (A great help as sometimes it is hard to hold your phone's flashlight while pulling up your bottoms and not dropping it or relying on your wearable lights for enough light to see what you are doing.

At the Mojave this year I expect to see more planned bathroom art.

Rumor has it a paper rose garden will be there with roses handmade from old flyers and magazines and signed by the artist individually. Some even say those roses may be scented!

Camps can sponsor bathroom artists as well. That can be in the form of helping with the maintenance of the art piece (Turning on and off battery-operated lights, emptying trash inside the potty, etc.) or giving money to the artist, or helping with supplies. (Who knows, someone might make it a free swag mart?) If a camp sponsors an artist I would recommend putting a sign up for the camp.

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