Theodor Nymark

Sculpture School

Drafts of Ecology: Das Irrlicht (Dank) is a publication, project, and conceptual prism that, endeavours to employ ecological thought as a means to construct an atmospheric and intellectual synthesis, connecting the banks between the realms of industrial and scientific development and the domains of spirituality and sensibility.  This prism seeks to shed and scatter light to investigate and illuminate the intricate interplay between these seemingly disparate spheres, positioning itself at the junction of tangible environmental impacts and the intangible dimensions of human experience and understanding. From this vantage point, the project aspires to foster a multifaceted dialogue that radically evaluates the dynamics at play between technological advancement and our spiritual and perceptual engagements with the surrounding environment, thereby advocating for a more integrated and comprehensive approach to ecological consciousness. The work initially aims to explore to what extent historical conceptions of land, predating and following the advent of agriculture and the evolution of industry, influenced our temporal continuum, and how these changing perceptions of the environment paralleled the cultural and artistic manifestations of our societies. The compilation features contributions from scholars and practitioners who share a common interest in exploring similar ideas. It aims to reexamine the ways we distinguish and separate different areas of thought, suggesting that rethinking these divisions could be key to creating a more unified understanding across various belief systems. Contributors: Theodor Nymark, Morten Fischer Mortensen, Ireen van Dolderen & Jamie Walker, Kasper Opstrup, Sara Mering, Soo Ryu. 1st edition, 150 copies. Custom and unique silkscreen algae pigment cover Salon 75 Publishing ISBN: 978-87-975229-0-5 Copyright © Theodor Nymark, 2024 All rights reserved the author and Salon 75 Publishing.

Das Irrlicht (Dank) 2022-24

Flame LED light, Arduino, relay, extension cords, polyester carpet, full spectrum light tubes, MDF, mirror PVC vinyl film, artificial paper cat tails and grass, pine beams, Genelec speaker, media player, recording of Edward MacDowell’s 1900 composition Piano Sonata No. 3 in D minor (‘Norse’), Op.57, Kvadrat® linen and viscose curtains, curtain steel wire, smoke machine, smoke liquid, Gamma Wolpa Eurobox, wall mounted blowing fan with attached custom Scent bag.

Variable Dimensions

Das Irrlicht (Dank) is a scenographic installation set in an artificial wetland that employs theatrical effects to mimic the perception of the Ignis fatuusthe natural phenomenon also known as the will-o’-the-wisp. An atmospheric and ghostly light seen by travellers at night, especially over bogs, swamps or marshes, the will-o’-the-wisp has long inspired superstition and folklore around the world, serving as a metaphor for hidden treasure, lost souls, a sinister delusion, or a goal that leads one astray. Modern scientists now agree that the flame-like phosphorescence is caused by gases from decaying plants, which some would assume abolishes the spiritual qualities of the legend. The project underlines the phenomenon not only as an expression of how humans understand and translate experiences of their surrounding world and environment but also emphasizes how the spiritual interpretations of the light correlate with its material cause as a transformation of matter and energy. The work treats the wetland as a stage, employing an amalgam of different elements such as controlled light systems, scent diffusers, a smoke machine, sound and music, carpet, curtains and artificial plants, to produce an immersive environment for reflection and contemplation on this multifaceted, fecund, and spiritual biotope. A late-romantic piano sonata overlaid with wetland field recordings adds to the mysterious dream-like quality of this simulated northern wetland.