What you see here is a sample of artificially produced feces. More specifically, it's material produced from an artistic feat of engineering. The creation of a machine that can step for step mimic the digestive process.
In other words: you put food in one end... and well, you get sh*t coming out the other.
Anyway, called the "Cloaca," this is probably Wim Delvoye's most famous art installation. Created in 2000, it has since gone through at least five different incarnations, each an improvement (in terms of time and efficiency) over the previous. In truth, he's trying to one day get to a prototype that is as good as what our own bodies do.
When asked to comment on his pieces, Delvoye's responses tended to be along the lines of:
"I wanted to make something that is absurdly unnecessary... I don't think this biologically correct machine belongs in a science museum. I don't have that ego. I'm not helping sick people. I'm practically useless in society."
Here are images of the first three Cloacas.
And the most recent: No. 5.
It looks monstrous...
(Oh yeah, if you want one of those feces souvenirs, you are out of luck - they're sold out).
There are many ways to make feces or something ...dirty from food. I don't see any meaning in it - ok, we make artifical feces from food, so what's next?
If we create machine that use food to produce energy (may be by simple fermentation, ethanol extraction and burning it in fuel cells) - this is cool, our robot can 'eat to live'. But feces-making machine, IMHO, is no point.
PS: sorry if my English is bad, its not my native language. I am reading scienceblogs.com from Russia and recently I visited Science Art Fest with many conceptual 'science art' installations or films about it.