- Written by Redas Diržys
The origin of Šumava Interpretation idea was shaped from so called tradition of interpretations starting from Niels Bohr’s and Werner Heisenberg‘s Copenhagen Interpretation (1927). It mostly dealt with the notions of complementarity which laid into the basis of ideas of Quantum Mechanics. It holds that the process of measuring the quantum objects produces the results that depend inherently upon the type of a measuring device that is used, and therefore they must necessarily be described in the terms of classical mechanics. To speak more generally – Copenhagen interpretation shaped basic features of experiment as phenomenon and distanced it from classical science which instead establishes authority of the units of measurement.
In 1962 Danish artist and one of the founding members of Situationist International in Silkeborg developed theoretical concerns of what later obtained the name of Silkeborg Interpretation. In fact it was an outcome of a genuine detournement of complementarity and the Copenhagen version of Quantum Mechanics - it appropriates and expands the context of Bohr’s doctrines. Bohr wanted his idea to transcend physics and claimed that complementarity was already affecting other domains of experience, though his arguments for these instances were quite simplistic so Jorn also found triolectics as solution to not to drown into dualisms. Moreover, Jorn claimed that the classical world picture belongs with the classical form of language and will perish with it. When Bohr saw possibly of complementarity in expanding the language of physics, Jorn proposed philosophy or arts to be complementary to science in whole approach. This is evident in his „invention“ of the so called three sided football, which explains all the mechanism of triolectics in a playful way:
„It is like a football match where both sides are trying to win. However, lets us now imagine a whole new type of football field, where instead of two teams and two goals, there are three teems and three goals. Now what would happen when the three teams began to play against each other? It would swiftly be discovered that it is impossible to control which of the two attacking enemies had scored. It would become necessary to invert the rules so that the victory was a negative one, so that it was the team that has defended itself best and had let the least goals that was the victor. The victory becomes defensive and not offensive. The game would of course adjust itself accordingly. It would not be exciting game at all. This is how the third power can neutralize a tension between two powers. Therefore two-sided opponents are always aggressive whilst three-sided ones are defensive. Whether this in itself describes the transition from dialectics to complementarity”.
As Copenhagen Interpretation resulted in QM, Silkeborg Interpretation shaped the phenomenon of 3SF.
How I can describe Šumava Interpretation of 2015? Did is has any relationship to above mentioned tradition? Interpretation is a technical notion that approximates the idea of representing a logical structure inside another structure, but interpretation of QM in particularly goes beyond of any existing theory and questions any structure as inside or outside. So, what Šumava was about? Formally it was meeting of 5 groups of the students from different Art schools led by their teachers (professors) in Kvilda Art Residency house in Šumava (Czech Republic) mountains without any clear plan what to be done, without any written curriculum, even without thesis – if explanation of Copenhagen and Silkeborg interpretations was not to be considered. And what the challenges we got?
Apparently there were not the students who needed teachers (professors), but opposite – teachers needed students much more: none of the students’ group asked for teachers’ attention. Teachers still found need for the formulations as: “artist’s responsibility”, “this is not a vacation for students” to be imposed in some way on their students. Fortunately it doesn’t happen. There were only few things initiated by teachers to be implemented: arranging them into groups, where all different schools could collaborate, and appointing the day for presentations. That ensured more or less collaborative and more or less artistic process of production for a whole of the week. In the end teachers were happy to see student’s results of “responsibility” even without prescription.
Mountain walk was might be the main issue what united whole the group of teachers and students – there they walked in a whole group, o separated groups, during the day and during the night, in legal or illegal way, with navigation and without. The 2-dimensionalizing of those experiences by cameras was less interesting element besides breathing, waiting, helping each other, or simply standing besides camera and enjoying the life without any goal prescripted. Digitalizing finally got some extra dimension when unexpectedly got behind image in a gap projection by the request-for-assistance-for-returning-back-home-from-the-forest group, or simply getting out of focus. I found amazing the variety of the forms showed for the self-organization of all the people around. There were involved collective activities: dancing, cooking, walking, drawing-writing, talking, filming, exploring etc. The very essence of the experiment is about the self-organization as opposite to process of atomization and sticking to the prescriptions. What I was surprised – the arrangement of different groupings of people was very natural and quick – the decisions were made immediately in all situations either who walks to the mountain, or another mountain, or to the restaurant, or even formation of teams for the three sided football was as easiest as never in my practice before.
And definitely the most important moment for me was to arrange the 3 sided football match in Šumava Mountains. So far any 3SF game I ever played was very different; I still share opinion that all the matches ever played are the one which reshapes itself depending on any concrete situation. In Kvilda first unexpected decision due to 3SF timing was acclaimed already in a first meeting – Iza proposed time for 6AM for the first match and another proposition for 6PM was accepted by majority of students as well. This “artistic irresponsibility” I took as a challenge – it was really hard to wake up early. To play at 6AM there came 6 persons, 3 of them were teachers and one of the students was not intending to play but just to make a recording. So it happened. Even 7th player came with some delay and joined the loosing then team. It was cold – some 1 or 2 degrees below zero. Was slippery. Everyone was cautious. There were two highlights during the mach. Just in a very beginning kicked off side ball got above the fence and [it seemed so] rolled down towards the river. There was half-light of dusk. When I came down the hill to the river just realized that there is a swamp area which sever river from the land – no chance to grab ball from there. There was no spare ball taken and it seemed for me like the end of the game, but Martin suddenly called to my phone asking were am I because he already got the ball – it was accidentally fallen between two fences into a corner of graveyard besides the pitch. Instead of going back to sleep we continued the match and saw a beautiful beginning of a day. Another great moment of the mach was a strategic decision made by Marek and Adrian. They borrowed the trick from casual football, but its application for triolectical match was very clever and funny – after the goal was scored against them they placed the ball so each of them could kick a ball into different goals of the opponents. Marek run to the ball and left it untouched, when Adrian kicked it to the side of different team’s goal.
Another match was scheduled for another day. There appeared notes that students want to play casual football during the day. Also they (Czech students – the same, who proposed 6PM time) started to talk that the time should be changed into an earlier one – nobody wanted to play in the dark – it’s “very dangerous because of the dark and because of the possible frost” – said Honza. I never played it in the dark neither, but 3SF is exactly the situation when you are trying to do things what you never have done before. We agreed that the match could start at 4PM and then we’ll see if we want to try playing in complete darkness after it. But group of teachers left for a walk to the forest and – as usually happens in the mountains – got back almost at 6PM. Nobody were even trying to play 3SF. After an enlightening agitation we got about 15 persons to play the match. It was already complete darkness. A day before I was still expecting to be a full moon to accompany us. But on the match day was cloudy and no moonlight was around. To see each other and at least the goals in a very beginning we used flash lights from the mobile phones, but decided first two games to play without lights. It was crazy: you can’t see the ball, but just running people. As a goalkeeper I saw the ball only in the moment, when it goes to my goal. No one could detect their teammates from a distance – one can recognize persons only from their voices or when they are close near by, but usually players were recognizing their opponents, because they were facing them, and aliens were those who run the same direction. Anyway this time was very good for those who were in possess of some skills – Lucia from Rome was a master – later she told her brother taught her some tricks to do with a ball. First two parts of the game were very intense for the field players, but goalkeepers were somehow left out of reasonable control, but more relaying on accidental encounter with the ball. The last 3rd part we played with the flash lights. This changed the situation completely – everybody were trying to point the ball with light so one can always see where the ball is, but to see players was impossible. Also the ball was unseen for the goalkeeper in the moment when somebody was kicking it into the goal – everybody was blinding him with the flashlights. If the dark part of the game was more about the game in the field, the last part with lights was left almost on goalkeepers – they were kicking the balls into the goals of opponents so far the goalkeepers were showing with their lights where their goals are located. But no goals were beaten because the ball kicked by goalkeeper is easy to catch – one still can see it coming. The highlight of this match was laid by Martin – he got a spotlight – a very strong one - and run pointing with it directly into my eyes. So he blinded goalkeeper and Mantas – another team’s goalkeeper – kicked the ball into unprotected goal. And so did twice during the last 2 minutes of the match. Of course it was unfair, but bluffing and fun is the integral part of this game.
There was a first time in Šumava that we prepared a pitch for the game to be played, but both matches were played in improvised pitch. For the first match there were not enough people to carry the goals, while for the 2nd match nobody wanted to care the goals in complete darkness.