Monuments of the Lower Mur

On those odd moments in the small hours when I haven’t been able to sleep I have been reading Robert Smithson interviews. When I was younger I did this with Carl Jung. Which led to interesting lucid dreaming experiences.

Earlier today I was wandering along the building work on the new hydroelectric facility on the River Mur, observing the earthworks and construction work, having a little internal conversation with Bob Smithson’s ghost as I walked.

He would have been an unusually informed walking partner: local geology, tectonic strata and the like would have punctuated the space (or non-site). His Monuments of Passaic is filled with these sorts of concerns about edgelands and new sorts of unregarded (sub)urban spaces. But we would have had common cause comparing notes on such matters as the use of river paths for local cyclists on Central Park and the Grand Union Canal. Their ideal and historical uses compared with contemporary deployment.

I crossed the river at the third completed hydroelectric dam down towards Feldkirchen, near the airport. Bob would have made a half-amused wince at Flughafen Graz, like you see on statues of saints, carrying the emblems of their martyrdom. His death in a helicopter accident almost fifty years ago still not quite comfortable. I’m unsure how he’d react to the Roman ruin on the landing strip; his concerns were usually more Mayan than European.

We could disagree on that at the Hells Angels bar just up the road over a quiet Puntigamer or two.