Liminality and dark Aesthetics


Liminality and dark Aesthetics

Table of Contents







Table of Contents

and dark aesthetics
in the boglands

“Time becomes a place minus motion.
If time is a place, then innumerable places are possible.
Rather than saying, ‘What time is it?’
we should say, ‘Where is the time?’”1Smithson, Robert. Entropy and the New Monuments. 1966.

Unsere Wanderung war bislang geprägt von Schwellen und Übergängen, hervorgerufen durch die Veränderung der Bodenformen aber auch durch die Spannung zwischen Kultivierung und Wildwuchs und die Hinterlassenschaften ihrer narrativen Bruchstellen. Daher sollten wir einen genaueren Blick auf das Wesen dieser Zwischenräume werfen. Zeiträume – durch Zeit verzerrte Räume. (Chronotopen) Aus geschichteter und wassergetränkter Zeit bildet sich langsam ein Boden, eine Uhrglasform die zum Himmel wächst – in Richtung des Regenfalls und des Sonnenlichts.

In a literary context, chronotopes describe the environmental dimension by drawing attention to the concrete physical spaces in which stories take place. The further one studies the Ried, the clearer it becomes that time, and the offset of different time periods, is a defining element of the landscape. In the research of ecological and geological writings that deal with the bog, one repeatedly comes across sentences and fragments that make one stop short, as they stimulate the imagination in a strange way and trigger a story of their own in the mind through seemingly familiar associations.

This originates in the way bogs and natural phenomena, in general, are described in terms of our own perceptual world, such as our bodies. It starts with the peat body (Torfkörper) and goes all the way to the bog eye (Moorauge). A bog can bleed out and die but also could be revived when fed with water. Although we are only reading about „some kind of soil”, one starts to develop empathy with the bog through these formulations and immerse oneself into its perspective. This linguistic approach can also be found in the description of the precursor and creator of the moors – the glaciers of the Ice Age. Although Glaciers are basically nothing more than frozen water and rock debris, the glaciers are also endowed with a variety of bodily attributes. The glacier has a tongue (Gletscherzunge) that probes into the landscape, and when it retreats, it leaves behind glacial milk. Besides these bodily annotations, other formulations refer to the strange spatial quality of time we can observe or rather sense in wetlands. It becomes clear that time itself spans differently scaled spaces, which in turn are animated by geological and atmospheric forces.

The respective climate that fills these pockets of time reflects the energy in the system that is capable of creating huge masses of ice (freezing the space) or enabling vegetation that subsequently transforms the captured solar energy into peat. Landscapes are products of different time zones – or the multitude of the individual times of living beings and objects. These overlapping and interacting time zones are determined by lifetime cycles and (perceptual) frequencies. We find singular events that flash up briefly and then disappear forever, existing just as a thread that fades into the future, and cycles like the changing seasons, vegetative periods and water continuously eroding the landscape.  These phenomena can be studied by defining a certain number of real or hypothetical objects and relating their time scales to each other. Cyclical or continuous natural processes can be understood in this thought experiment as natural clocks running in the background as a rhythmic pattern. This could be, for example, the growth of the raised bog complexes (approx. 1 mm/year), but also the silting up of a lake or the erosion of a mountain. If one observes (and remembers) such cyclical processes closely over longer periods of time, one can recognise anomalies and inconsistencies, which in turn point to a deeper change on another level – a background radiation of what we have previously defined as Archē.

“Rhetoric used to have a whole panoply of terms for this weak form of ecomimesis: geographia (the description of earth or land), topographia (place), chorographia (nation), chronographia (time), hydrographia (water), anemographia (wind), dendrographia (trees).”2Morton, Timothy. Ecology without Nature. Harvard University Press Cambridge, Massachusetts, and London, England 2007. p. 33

Peat in its state as matter “is not timeless and static—quite the reverse—yet its temporality is one that encompasses, rather than being encompassed by that of history.3McLean, Stuart: Black Goo: Forceful Encounters With Matter in Europe’s Muddy Margins. In: CULTURAL ANTHROPOLOGY Volume 26, Issue 4. 2011
Below are some notes from the research that illustrate the chronotopic qualities of the Ried landscape:

  1. Das Moorauge schließt sich im 19. Jahrhundert…
  2. “Waldlosigkeit gewisser Zeitabschnitte”
  3. Das Ried entstand durch eine Seitenzunge des Rheintalgletschers, der eine Endmoräne auf dem Gebiet ablegte
  4. “Die Zeit erscheint wohl nur als eine der möglichen Verteilungen zwischen den Elementen im Raum.”

Liminality and dark Aesthetics

Work with me

I work interdisciplinary and in an experimental way.

Do you have an interesting Project, that needs help in its graphic communication? Do you need a full visual identity with a website, logo, branding? You are an artist looking for collaboration? Just send me your request and let’s start thinking together!


Coming Soon…WIP

Coming Soon…WIP

Coming Soon…WIP


Hello, I’m Ferdinand –  architectural designer currently living and working in Vienna, Austria. I recently graduated with a Master’s degree in Architecture from the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna, where I focused on the relationship between city and landscape, the motif of the garden, and the hidden worlds and ecologies that unfold in intersecting spaces.

Diploma Presentation. Mehrzwecksaal, Semperdepot. Januar, 2023

Cookie Consent with Real Cookie Banner