A reflection on early written word, photography, and music of assembly
As the visitor steps through this portal of time, scenes from Detroit, the original home of the organ pipes, flank the train station’s walls. The space is dominated by the impressive stature of these wooden pipes that were left behind in favor of newer musical technologies. When the pipes fill the space with sound, they breathe the same air as the listener. The images of Detroit illustrate the progress of time through space as expressed by music. The photos focus on the visible cues and remnants of architectural spaces being filled with sound before abandonment. The viewer is invited to imagine the final notes of the melodies that were once played here and the notes that were once played by the forgotten organ as they accompany and illuminate the gradual decay of the buildings. The images depict a “diminuendo al niente” – music gradually fading into nothingness.
Traversing the antique train station ticket counter, the visitor steps in to the room with Proxy Voyager at its center, composed of components of old bookbinding machinery. As the wheels spin around, one can imagine the diminishment of printed media as it fades away. Stoic characters rendered in wet plate photography look down on the old machine. The early history of photography and these haunting characters featured slowly and steadily diminish into nothingness, into desolation.
This journey is a mere glimpse of several stages of human technological evolution, as they thrive and as they die. Every past stage has given way to a new era of human experience. As one stage diminishes into nothing, the next stage is born.