Vilmos Katona & Zorán Vukoszávlyev

Budapest University of Technology and Economics, Faculty of Architecture

The Sacred Well
A priori
A photograph is the basis of a film, and the quantum of transformation. Time brakes and speeds up, whenever petrified ideas are deconstructed, and new ones made of weightless quanta are about to rise. It is the architecture of discrete and separate elements which are linked only by the genius loci and the work of the building community. But in fact, constant places do not exist, since none of their components can avoid decomposition and transformation. There are no infinite or everlasting circumstances. How could we grasp the background of life’s snapshots? What is the actual birthplace of time? Is it the picture strip itself (see the black monolith of Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey), where all the events appear as quanta of pictures? Similar to photographs, these events can be joined on demand, but there is a specific order how they prefer to be constructed. This is what makes the film lively and intelligible. The secret lies in an internal joint which cannot be visualised by any of the photographs. As scenes pass, only the presence of the community survives unquestionably. And community manifests itself in a construing labour. It is the primary source. It is the well of sacred power.

A forteriori
The community is self organised. It creates its own timetables and work order. Without a conventional plan, it endeavours to realise the most effective and immediate work through improvising. Beyond practicality, the most important benefit and potential of improvised labour is the desire to learn from mistakes. During the construction, new social hierarchies emerge based on effective knowledge and the contribution to collective experiences. A genuine construction naturally involves measurements, trials and errors, which were eradicated from architectural praxis and education thanks to the uniformised technology. Genuine building communities are formed by cognitive work (techné), the true art, which is not ruled by an individual architect, but the hand of an invisible power (see the example of the society of bees given by St Bernard of Clairvaux). The photographer attempts to understand the secret of this performance, and tries to summarise his thesis with cuts and puzzles. But he always gets to the point when he has to admit that the essence behind the scenes cannot be camera-caught.

Special thanks to the SACRAL ARCHITECTURE STUDIO’S experimental workshop in Budakalász, Hungary | Budapest University of Technology and Economics, Faculty of Architecture.
related clips
Professor Steven Bachelder
A story that is you.
change, dialogue, experience, process, structure
Weiling He
Diving into Cave Phenomena
experience, process, intuition
Contact the researcher
Mail adress: