The Groom of the Stool (formally styled: “Groom of the King’s Close Stooll“) was the most intimate of an English sovereigns’ courtiers. The Groom of the Stool, in the very earliest times was responsible for assisting the King in the performance of the bodily functions of excretion and ablution, whilst maintaining an aura of royal decorum over the proceedings.This physical intimacy naturally led to him becoming a man in whom much confidence was placed by his royal master and with whom many royal secrets were shared as a matter of course. This secret information he was privy to—whilst it would never have been revealed, to the discredit of his honour—in turn led to him becoming feared and respected and therefore powerful within the royal court in his own right.

How does your practice digested by a foreign body looks like?

a collective practice by Gosie

Recipe for a workshop : The Groom of the Stool – recipes of digested and non digested practices

 A. Warm up – playing around with maizena

Before the actual ‘Stooling’, we gonna plunge into cooking. To warm up for that, I want to share a very simple recipe with you. The recipe is rather simple, but once cooked, you can really use it for almost anything – it is magical. Recipe : mix maïzena with water: the non newtonian experience !

B. The recipe

1. Cook your work/your practice/your life – 30 mins silent cooking

Think of/remember the gesture you do, ingredients you use, tools …

Write down the recipe – you can use any variation of a standard recipe : list of ingredients, measurements, preparation instructions, tools used, variations, how to serve.

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Why :

So anyone can use your recipe, can cook your practice and experiment with it. Your practice becomes shareable, more transparent(?), … A recipe is like guidelines, a manual, … Although not all recipes are straightforward, not all recipes lift the veil of the magical product that comes out of the oven, but they do excite/ arouse the curiousness to bake this cake.

Because of the love of reading: “Reading a recipe is about reconciling the ideals of printed text to the physical reality of one’s own kitchen. In a recipe, the reader is simultaneously the chef. Recipes translate abstract ideas into a concrete, material experience. This is the process by which a cake is baked. Using a recipe is the instantiation of the text. The text is the recipe and the cake is its own interpretation.”

2. Present your meal

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C. Grooming

Sharing practices by eating and digesting, devouring and digesting each others’ cakes.

Choose and eat the meal of somebody else – the cook assists the digestion + interviews the eater (the actual grooming) – record the interview on paper/take notes – the notes will be put together with the recipe – the groom of the stool *


D. Stool

The eater reports on the excrement, using whatever means that seem suitable. How does your practice digested/processed by a foreign body looks like, smells , …?




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