Experimental Space refers to interior spaces where the purpose of the room (a bunker?) is ambiguous. These photographs do not aim to describe nor explain a space but, like Rothkos late multiform paintings, to suggest a psychological state of mind. Limiting the composition to simple blocks and partial views restricts the understanding of the space. The viewer is then left with a feeling of dislocation and forced to read into the image, to seek understanding beyond the limited frame of the image.
‘From a distance, the concrete shells, shored up with stones … looked .. like the tumuli in which the mighty and powerful were buried in prehistoric times with all their tools and utensils, silver and gold. My sense of being on ground intended for the purposes transcending the profane was heightened by a number of buildings that resembled temples or pagodas, which seemed quite out of place in these military installations. But the closer I came to these ruins, the more the notion of a mysterious isle of the dead receded, and the more I imagined myself amidst the remains of our own civilisation after its extinction in some future catastrophe.’ – W.G.Sebald: ‘The Rings of Saturn’
Arch with Reflection
‘Incidental music is often background music and adds atmosphere to the action. It may take the form of something as simple as a low, ominous tone suggesting an impending startling event or to enhance the depiction of a story-advancing sequence. It may also include pieces such as overtures, music played during scene changes, or at the end of an act, immediately preceding an interlude, as was customary with several nineteenth-century plays.’ – Wikipedia
Nocturnal Spaces, like incidental music, fill the background space of the conscious mind. Wandering through the nightscape the landscape changes radically, no longer informed by lines delineated by daylight, contours merge into vastly different realms, ones where subconscious thoughts leak out into nocturnal spaces.
‘The standard Rubik’s Cube measures 5.7 cm on each side. The puzzle consists of twenty-six unique miniature cubes, also called “cubies” or “cubelets”. Each of these includes a concealed inward extension that interlocks with the other cubes, while permitting them to move to different locations. However, the centre cube of each of the six faces is merely a single square façade; all six are affixed to the core mechanism. These provide structure for the other pieces to fit into and rotate around. So there are twenty-one pieces: a single core piece consisting of three intersecting axes holding the six centre squares in place but letting them rotate, and twenty smaller plastic pieces which fit into it to form the assembled puzzle.’ – Wikipedia
‘One must not think ill of the paradox, for the paradox is the passion of thought, and the thinker without the paradox is like the lover without passion: a mediocre fellow. But the ultimate potentiation of every passion is always to will its own downfall, and so it is also the ultimate passion of the understanding to will the collision, although in one way or another the collision must become its downfall. This, then, is the ultimate paradox of thought: to want to discover something that thought itself cannot think.’ – Soren Kierkegaard: ‘Philosophical Fragments’
Weight & Balance
‘What actually is concrete? Basically, concrete consists these days of cement, water and a stone aggregate: cement, a hydraulic-setting binding agent, produces a cement paste when mixed with water, which is then enriched with a stone aggregate. The paste envelopes the small pieces of stone, fills the hollows and makes the wet concrete workable, until it hardens through hydration. The concrete then stays rigid, even under water and has a stable volume.
‘Reinforced concrete has led to a revolution in architecture. Steel possesses a high tensile strength, unlike concrete, and therefore makes large spans possible, without the need of arching. Its image as a cold and inhuman material was particularly prevalent in the 1970s. The repetitive way the elements were put together and monotonous housing silos contributed to this, as well as the way in which exposed concrete ages, often perceived as unaesthetic. ‘Béton brut’ architecture led to the term ‘brutalism’. The association of brutality always accompanies the term, which makes the image of exposed concrete quite clear.
‘But reinforced concrete was made famous much earlier through its delicate and highly elegant use in the shell constructions of Heinz Isler (Swiss building engineer, 1926–2009) and the bridges of Robert Maillart (also a Swiss building engineer, 1972–1940). The Isler system is still used today for working out shell constructions. Ulrich Müther realised numerous shell constructions in the 1960s in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, which, today, have an almost cult status.
‘Over the course of decades, the volume of concrete and the amount of the material used has been continually reduced, thanks to better calculation methods and formwork techniques. But concrete hasn’t only proved itself as a material for static substructures: colour pigments, additives and new techniques in working the surface have seen exposed concrete enjoy a renaissance for some time now, and it is being used more and more as an architectural skin: façades, floor surfaces, furniture – the possibilities of application seem to be endless.’
– Susanne Fritz – ‘The Independant Resource For Architecture and Design’
Internal Spaces refers to interior rooms and empty, derelict locations. They represent seismic upheavals within the mind: internal landscapes; the corner of a cleared office, the leftovers of a kitchenette, the bare bones of a ransacked room, the relics of a former life.
‘The line between inner and outer landscapes is breaking down. Earthquakes can result from seismic upheavals within the human mind. The whole random universe of the industrial age is breaking down into cryptic fragments …’ – William Burroughs: Preface to JGBallards ‘The Atrocity Exhibition.’
‘Artist and city both display themselves in hiding. Psychoanalysis had shown the unconscious mind working in a similar fashion; Brassai prowled the dream-time of the city exploring what Walter Benjamin, in 1931, called ‘the optical unconscious’…. In Brassai’s pictures of Paris arcades, the arches lead into a perspectival tunnel. The sense is of being taken deeper and deeper into the city.’ – Geoff Dyer: ‘The Ongoing Moment’ 2005
‘Eugene Atget often photographed stairs and steps. Like the roads and passageways … they lead us deeper into the picture even as they indicate a way out of and beyond it. … The stairs do not always lead to the light … but they are almost always leading up. …. In Brassai, by contrast, the sense is always of stairs leading down … there is always the sense of a more intimate knowledge of a city being found down the step, of the truth of a place being found in its basements…. in the city beneath the city.’ – Geoff Dyer: ‘The Ongoing Moment’
Ego Death: ‘Many methods, practices, or experiences may induce this state, including prayer, sleep deprivation, fasting, meditation practice …. or the use of an isolation tank. It is suggested that individuals experiencing depersonalization may also claim to have had an ego death … An ego death is said to be characterized as the perceived loss of boundaries between self and environment … This “perceived loss of boundaries between self and environment” is said to be experienced through a sensation that one is the whole universe (and therefore there is no need to differentiate the “I” from the “universe”) or by simply acknowledging the “I” does not exist.’ – Wikipedia