This page focuses on the photographic and visual documentation of our intensive week excursion to Schrattenberg in Styria. The materials produced in the group exercises, as well as transcriptions of our conversations are found on other pages or will be added later.
A particularity of Schrattenberg is, despite the similar overall palette of greens, grays, and browns, that there is a constant change between natural elements, and remains from human work which could be cultural-utilitarian or results from previous artistic interventions.
Consuelo is always among those up and outside the earliest, so there are the shots from her morning walk.
In first part of the day, a group of three (Alisa, Daniele, Shane) are visiting “the other" castle up the mountain. Franziska left yesterday, leaving a gap, but now Daniele joined us for the remaining time here.
Goodbye, pieces, objects, sketches, artefacts. Well. We negotiated to take most materials with us back to Graz.
In the first floor of the barn (storehouse), Hanns had installed light sensors in the window, recording their signal for a day. (Or perhaps it was this day that the recordings took place).
Second kitchen round with coffee / wine (we went to the supermarket). Alisa has been picked up from the train station.
Today’s morning session is in the “concert space". It is interesting that Schrattenberg brings together visual artists in the residencies with musicians, often from improvisation context, that play during the events in summer. That is also the reason a grand piano is found in the neighbouring barn space.
Alisa was following Consuelo and Naya to the separately standing building, which we figured out was the “actual” Hotelpupik—the building used for the artist residencies, named after a Czech (?) artist who once proclaimed that this was the umbilicus (in Czech 'pupik') of the world.
Shane was working on long paper lanes laid out around the castle ruins, tracing the branches and shadows.
A warm and sunny day, so our morning session took place in the yard, which also became a gravitational centre for different activities during the day. We brought some yellow and green (train, plane ?) seats from the main house's storage space to the light.
Another one of the elements Shane recorded, apart from particular plant and animal details, were the root structures that prominently grew above ground.
… it also mentions the “tercas", which translates to obstinate or stubborn, referring to the kind of plants that keep growing within ruins, on top of buildings, giving also name to the text piece Nayarí is developing.
… or we revert to the basic tools, stripping plastic insulation from steel cable found in one of the sheds.
On the top floor of the shed, the recorded soundscape can now be heard through the suspended metal plate. A prominent sound landmark is the horn of the trains passing several times a day. Ultra-low frequency wind noises recorded by the microphones cause the plate to judder.
The yard installation merges with the ripping of the shed's gates.
A pleasant feature of the storehouse is that, like in the shed across, you can open the gates, let air and light in, give it a floating presence.
That steel cable is used by Hanns to hang another found object, a rusty metal plate, in one of the gates that could be opened in the wooden sheds across the yard.
Up there, behind the metal plate, in the space that is used as sleeping place for additional artists during Hotelpupik’s festival, we gather for today’s meeting.
A recording from Through Segments (2020) is used as a “test signal" to project sound via transducer on the metal plate. Another set of Pi and amplifier is placed here, the small tools are moved forth and back between the two buildings, and so is the small white Internet cube, as the Wifi signal from the main building is too weak here.
The yard installation is now completed with a sound layer, using voice recordings of the text “tercas” written by Nayarí. The voices of Naya and Hanns are heard simultaneously from the rake and from the wooden plank. We recorded the text in Spanish, English, and German; for now, we decided to stay with the Spanish version.
Naya began assembling found materials. We brought down the large rake, which was combined with a round wooden object and a wooden box as base. The transducer was still attached to the rake, the cable now running down from the first floor storehouse, and getting repainted in red.
She started to built a dialogue with a round wooden disc object that could serve as a support for a long wooden plank.
Something not well reflected in the photo documentation is that we took quite a number of books with us, and especially Shane was reading a lot during the week.
We decided to move our group meetings to a new space every time. After trying to improvise in the “cinema” space, lack of cables and unsuitable projector distance made us quickly set up in the barn, throwing the image of Jackie, connected via Jitsi, on one of the walls.
Meanwhile, the axis through the buildings is completed by picking up the sounds from the yard (the mix of the “tercas" and the field recordings emitted from the metal plate) using a small microphone placed in the window.
The picked up sound is run through a set of band-rejection frequency filters tuned according to the different signals of the light sensors mounted in the window frame. This signal is amplified and sent through a cable to the other side of the room, running through a transducer on the metal bar that is now suspended in the opened gate.
This day, our group gathering ended in a group exercise instructed by Consuelo—drawing, with both hands and two colours, a soundscape of the environment, with eyes closed.
Shane has evaded Alisa’s viewfinder, but captured traces – in this case, mouse droppings – on his own camera.
An extension of this activity was, after reflecting on the drawings, to continue working them out using a water based blurring technique.
Back on the main storehouse, Hanns is turning the visual line across the yard into an acoustical line, trying to pick up the remote sound via a microphone placed in the window frame.
Apart from the 24 hour recording of light sensors, Hanns also set up a 24 hour sound recording in the upper shed. Meanwhile, Shane was experimenting with long term exposure of photography, returning to the surroundings of the castle ruins.
Shattered window glass means cold air is flowing into the storehouse. We are not sure whether it was smashed by a storm or by kids throwing stones.