Hering conceives memory as a fundamental property of reproduction of organic beings. The nervous substance of any organism retains the traces of its experiences and hands them down as an inheritance to the following generations, just as we received in its turn a certain amount of traces from the previous generations.

These stones (below) are recorded in a book published around 1975, that was gifted to me whilst working on Solovky in north Russia. Stones that once were used to build the famous or infamous medieval monastery as a natural defence to keep people out and also keep people in. The idea of physical defence, building security and shelter was architecturally defined through physical human proportions as I understand. The structures were both physically demanding to build and also aesthetically physically intimidating. 

Impossible to feel anything else 

Possible end

I speak for the memories that I do not have

seeking to remember places I have not been

with thoughts that I have not had

seemingly thinking that I linger in the same concerns

if I don't remember it is simply

because I have left and can not look back

we are all migrants from our past

some more desperate than others

some more wounded than others

some more indifferent than others

I speak of the memories that I do not have

accurately, vividly, truly daunting

as master of all possible landscapes

everything is taken from the past

to care for the present that demands enough

There is a man outside my window, I think he lives in the house upfront, every day he wanders in and out of his shed. I think it is his life, to make the journey, repeatedly, moving objects from one place to another. Today he struggles with a stone, it is bigger than he can handle. The weight of it makes him bend over and he has to put it down.  Again he picks the stone up, moves a step, and puts it down. Repeatedly, he moves across the lawn. It is almost agonizingly constant. There is no indication as to where he wants the stone to finally rest. His labor is simply a fact on its own.  It is all that he is meant to do. He is the history of the stone. He is the memory of all that the stone has ever been. Together we are linked to this migration, him the stone and I, forever tied into this vast visionary tragedy. 

I speak of the memories that I do not possess

this is the dilemma I have now reached

lest we forget — lest we forget

to speak of a possible start


The book has been defaced by the owner and in particular the pages of the walls, the immense stones of the monastery structure.

I wonder what this means today, the buildings we build are no longer necessary for defence, as we witness today a virus is a very different form of attack. Is architecture having to think how it protects, defends and creates security under such new threats and conditions?