Type writer with artist's text, plaster, water pump, tubes, glas, water pillow, metal frame, table, chair, clock, photo monitor, image and text material, tools
Solution caves are sinking spaces. And their floor sinks faster than the ceiling. Inside these caves we see the floor disappearing in the ground. Though we can walk on it, it feels as if a mouth were sucking from below. And while we are walking, the ceiling runs after the ground.
The stalactites are the fast runners. Sometimes – with the help of the stalagmites – they are able to catch up with the floor. The transport flow is back in balance then. But not so in the rest of the cave. This makes it so picturesque: some stones manage, some stones don’t.
Cracks can run horizontally or obliquely. But every new-formed stone is aligned along the same axis, following the direction of gravity – dropping a perpendicular, while strangely time seems to stand still. Actually we experience two times: Our human time, which is present through ourselves and in the dripping water for example; but also geological time, present in the dynamic shapes of the stone around us. Small scale and large scale of time being confronted. What looks stable is actually in flow. What looks solid and motionless is actually on the move.
Limestone dissolves in water, sedimenting again later. Extremely slowly, but with constant progress. This is what geologists tell us. But I don’t care what their explanation is, because I am just watching. I see ceilings dripping and I see floors dropping. And I sense how the former process keeps lagging behind the pace of the latter. I imagine that this must have been always obvious to man. And I imagine that solution caves drew their fascination from the power that derives from the fact that they are spaces moving downward.
Digging a cave is not comparable to this process. Why? Because you carve out the soil and then throw it behind your back. But in solution caves, if you look down at the floor and observe from this perspective, you notice that the material is moving forward! It advances faster, it progresses and reaches further, always a step ahead of us. I like to look at the floor of these caves. To me, they are like the canvas of a good painting: they seem to be a window, but at the same time they are also opaque. Figurative and abstract, representational and non-representational at once. And where do they open up to? To their own future.
I imagine a new architecture: no building up, no digging out; neither cast nor carved. Not against gravity but with it. An architecture that is able to hook on a material flow and, by slightly delaying the continuity of transport, produces a differential space. This space would express the power it thrives on. It would transform, it would be unstable. And it would give us shelter in an unsafe and precarious way. I see an architecture that is able to “progress”.