1. Language of Things
But let’s not get lost in yesterday's bias of Nature and Culture to have an insight into a future of alternate realities, beings and sounds that exist parallel with our own. History is taking place, especially in the case of Things, Humans and Organs in the ancient lands “beyond the forest” (middle age Latin: “Extrem Silvam” - “Ultrasylvania”). Transylvania is a region with the compositional feature of being the centre of the Carpathian mountains forming a high plateau surrounded by flat scapes on almost all sides, reflecting Eurasia in any direction.
"Quellgeister" (roughly translated into English as ‘source-spirits’) is a long term research project into the unique character of derelict pipe-organs in Transylvania’s abandoned fortress churches, left obsolete by the exodus to Modernity that followed the fall of Communism in Romania. In the long-term, my aim is to investigate the various transformations that human-built ritual machines undergo once left devoid of human presence, as they are slowly getting occupied by the Language of Things, thereby changing their interior material composition. We are in the midst of the testing-phase.
These organs are surrounded by a vast history spanning from local Shepard dynasties to Hungarian counts, from being an Ottoman Sultan’s protectorat to become the eastern periphery of the Austro-Hungarian monarchy, and to finally become a province of the current Romanian nation state. Hardly anywhere in Europe there is such a complex mixture of different minorities and ethnic groups coming from all over Eurasia, living next to each other for centuries relatively peacefully. This created a high compositional density of cultivation in the process of interacting with the given material preconditions. In certain parts of the region we find the rare ability of humans creating microclimates without macro-engineering, especially in places where traditional Methods were not replaced by Modernity. Thus being a phenomena we meet in many places of the world.
As we consider new possible methods for a future, we might find some tools and tricks in-between these hills beyond the forest: it’s not just the different ethnicities inhabiting the Transylvanian high plateau claiming the land being theirs.