A Dionysia, Part 7a

Watch on YouTube

A Dionysia, Part 7a is a music video for Hildegard von Bingen’s Instrumental Piece, with passages from Ivan Chtcheglov’s Formulary for a New Urbanism.


Von Bingen, Hildegard. “Instrumental Piece.” Hildegard von Bingen: Saints. Disc 1, track 8. Performed by Sequentia. BMG Classics, 1998. CD. (Also available as disc 1, track 8 on the album 900 Years: Hildegard von Bingen, RCA, 1998.)


painting by Mikalojus Konstantinas Čiurlionis: Hymn (II)
Mikalojus Konstantinas Čiurlionis. Hymn (II).

painting by Lyubov Popova: Cubist Landscape City (c.1914)
Lyubov Popova. Cubist Landscape City. c.1914.

painting by Paul Klee: The Light and So Much Else (1931)
Paul Klee. The Light and So Much Else. 1931.

painting by Mikalojus Konstantinas Čiurlionis: Allegro (Sonata of the Serpent) (1908)
Mikalojus Konstantinas Čiurlionis. Allegro (Sonata of the Serpent). 1908.

painting by Paul Klee: Cosmic Composition (1919)
Paul Klee. Cosmic Composition. 1919.

painting by Franz Marc: Deer in the Forest (1913)
Franz Marc. Deer in the Forest. 1913.

painting by Franz Marc: Broken Forms (1914)
Franz Marc. Broken Forms. 1914.

painting by Pavel Filonov: Victory over Eternity (1920 - 1921)
Pavel Filonov. Victory over Eternity. 1920 – 1921.


Chtcheglov, Ivan. “Formulary for a New Urbanism.” Situationist International Anthology: Revised and Expanded Edition. Translated by Ken Knabb. Berkeley: Bureau of Public Secrets, 2006. 1. Print. (Also available online: http://www.bopsecrets.org/SI/Chtcheglov.htm)

We are bored in the city, there is no longer any Temple of the Sun.

All cities are geological. You can’t take three steps without encountering ghosts bearing all the prestige of their legends. We move within a closed landscape whose landmarks constantly draw us toward the past. Certain shifting angles, certain receding perspectives, allow us to glimpse original conceptions of space, but this vision remains fragmentary. It must be sought in the magical locales of fairy tales and surrealist writings: castles, endless walls, little forgotten bars, mammoth caverns, casino mirrors.

We know how to read every promise in faces – the latest stage of morphology.

The poetry of the billboards lasted twenty years.

There was a certain charm in horses born from the sea or magical dwarves dressed in gold, but they are in no way adapted to the demands of modern life. For we are in the twentieth century, even if few people are aware of it. Our imaginations, haunted by the old archetypes, have remained far behind the sophistication of the machines. The various attempts to integrate modern science into new myths remain inadequate.

Darkness and obscurity are banished by artificial lighting, and the seasons by air conditioning. Night and summer are losing their charm and dawn is disappearing. The urban population think they have escaped from cosmic reality, but there is no corresponding expansion of their dream life. The reason is clear: dreams spring from reality and are realized in it.

The latest technological developments would make possible the individual’s unbroken contact with cosmic reality while eliminating its disagreeable aspects. Stars and rain can be seen through glass ceilings. The mobile house turns with the sun. Its sliding walls enable vegetation to invade life. Mounted on tracks, it can go down to the sea in the morning and return to the forest in the evening.

We know that the more a place is set apart for free play, the more it influences people’s behavior and the greater is its force of attraction.

The architecture of tomorrow will be a means of modifying present conceptions of time and space. It will be both a means of knowledge and a means of action.

Past collectivities offered the masses an absolute truth and incontrovertible mythical exemplars. The appearance of the notion of relativity in the modern mind allows one to surmise the EXPERIMENTAL aspect of the next civilization (although I’m not satisfied with that word; I mean that it will be more flexible, more “playful”).

It has become essential to provoke a complete spiritual transformation by bringing to light forgotten desires and by creating entirely new ones. And by carrying out an intensive propaganda in favor of these desires.

And you, forgotten, your memories ravaged by all the consternations of two hemispheres, stranded in the Red Cellars of Pali-Kao, without music and without geography, no longer setting out for the hacienda where the roots think of the child and where the wine is finished off with fables from an old almanac. That’s all over. You’ll never see the hacienda. It doesn’t exist.

The hacienda must be built.