from “A Theory of Ruin Value”

This work is a section of a longer work entitled “A Theory of Ruin Value,” a project purposely misunderstanding and mistranslating various fascist building texts written against/around Reichsarchitekt Albert Speer’s eponymous idea. This excerpt is derived from a purposeful misreading/mistranslation/intentional ruin of:

Troost, Gerdy. Das Bauen Im Neuen Reich. Ostmark, Bayreuth: Gauverlag Bayerische. 1942.

abominable as an eagle the old alders gradually grown to the sound there

spell banned or anarchy as if all things planted survive each other

there is only one way to interpret railway the english dictionary

most closely defines it as a phenomenon unfolding

even the most remove field gets the picture the more gigantic the land

the more heroic other people translate it into the curve of a border

as if light were only in some places and not others bodies

rare things they cannot stand like stone or rows of column there is something ineffable

in such materials as if translating bird song is to say sacrifice which is what

trees do when they get together


there was a lake inside us

who is its sovereign now


we are in a picture

in the picture a place occurs it is itself

we in the picture are themselves

the place, as it occurs, is itself

we are not speaking in the picture

in the picture, there is no light

we are in it

it is not in us

with regard to it where do we occur


people are from a village in spite of it

such a symbol of folk it molds them

but before you start to think where the word comes from think of a village as still

as death is still

where the word comes from is already so far away from it how can a people be proud


as far away as one can get as far away as

how when while


from or around us so to speak

to where will you go



the image of it is an empty church

by empty one means clear

one speaks of remains

what remains means what would have been

an image built of too much light


the mass of day building creates itself from the sound

of glass being practiced

the noise of a log is a poplar

being made into a block

all too often trees lie awake thinking about growth

but when they are pieced into a house the house does not like it


stone always again around us makes a border the strangers there a relationship

shaped by height the stone is suitable it does the deepest good

clocks occur to bear witness they are not ornamental for example a hundred hours

or a hundred meters what is the difference between a day and several

it is spiritual which is to say that one finds their own ghosts no one else sees them

the gate takes care of the ones who leave


just a village that’s all it is

come on around it don’t call it a tomb


the buildings face one another and speak in parables stories that have always been

there such a shape a gathering of land for kilometers around

ghosts stand quiet as columns what the streets wanted was perspective to be going somewhere

precise as steel extended into the country like a single bright line to all places

at the same time

the center on a sphere is anywhere you want it


a farmhouse’s desire to be alone

a sunken garden’s move to ground

how buildings cancel the plants

how the dictionary discloses a curse

consider a battlefield

consider its form


the claim a house creates the wound it works indifferent but clear in the picture

every day castles stand around what becomes of them

trains are more of just the same image principally fixed to the landscape running through the

middle of everything creating scenic as to given as responsible is to shaping

there are streets and there are motorways

there are footsteps and there are those who stand still


eagles cancel each other out they cannot be translated their weight rests on an axis

where is its origin all this construction suggests a different question

on the road there are splits in the asphalt

what grows there


buildings insist on being built like farmers needed the bronze age

the farmhouse confesses a need for considering what remains you know the trees

by their arc birches assemble themselves to the peasants the term is more grounded

it is adjacent to humble and buildings fracture preserving ground level

everything blossoms from its own kind of blood


the same dictionary confuses this with that and that is why we roam through the dark

villages monuments to what is there the roofs broken through

one day spent thinking about them is enough


clocks experience time first as a degenerative phenomenon like a farmhouse

never retrospective always occurring they recognize their own loneliness

like a cenotaph of who remembers what


the will for a form is it language or road construction the consequences of both

require feet in a field and a sense of shape the body requires

then what is a stranger except a question of what are they here for


there is parable of two town spirits they are both credible ghosts they both exist

because of belief each as glassy and shapeless as the other adorned by green plants

in a garden one is stingy and the other generous you’re supposed to leave both

an offering one gives you what you want one doesn’t

you articulate which one is which


the sky is best where the light is highest of course it’s too bright

the highest point is always ugly until it’s not


every thousand years there’s a new joseph

every thousand years there’s a new john


which is more artistic a colony or a church the smallest germ of culture the kilometre

as a standard measure of art is a small settlement then a bigger one

the landscape circulates like a power station it is a road returning to itself

as a log to the head is war everyone sees it but no one understands how it works


a bundle of light comes on loud the air stockpiles it the rural landscape was made of it

for a long time it suffered such empty love the first time someone fetches a lantern

every country requires a crown and of course light is light enough


the forest defected like moss to a house and many more things muddier like

when painting the number of people in the middle of some place the dimensions

sometimes takeover what is simpler than the relationship between humans and power

what happens when there’s something more powerful than a monument does it fold

as sometimes walls will do or sometimes is it bigger than that


an armor of plastic philosophy throw a tarp over it the plaster sculptures

to plot is to plot no matter what language a professor says it is

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