It's always night, or we wouldn't need light (Giordano Bruno), 41° 5' N, 12° 28' O, 17.2.1600, 2014
wood, stainless steel, 130 x 120 x 8 cm

Giordano Bruno, 1548 - 1600

Rome, 41° 53’ 44.2 N, 12° 28’ 19.8 E. 6:30 am, Thursday, February 17, the 48th day of the holy year 1600. It was three days after the New Moon, one day after Ash Wednesday. The sun would rise in 35 minutes, but there was no moon over the holy city. The name-giver of this day of the week, Jupiter sank in the Northwest directly behind the obelisk on St Peter’s Square. Mercury was a messenger of injustice as it appeared in the southeast of the city.
It is everything, life, up there. Finally, he could look up, after eight years in the dungeons of the Inquisition, where there was only a slit in the wall through which a scrap of the sky could peep. Eight years without pen or paper, not a thought found its way outside, but that was now irrelevant, for his ideas had long made their way to letters and were the truth. The truth about the stars, the truth that God was in everything, that He is the Infinite in Infinity, the One in the All, the soul of the world, immanent to everything that exists. The universe was actually endless, with no beginning, no end. Of what kind of mind would one have to be, how could one defame God in such a way as to think we were at the center of a universe, that anything at all revolves around us. In this poor world, darkness always wins out over light. Religion, like the firefly, needs darkness to glow. No, he was not disenchanting the sky, but opening it in an unsuspected way. Of course, he could scarcely see anymore, all the worlds were just dull points, now pale before his eyes. Paler year after year. Yet, the gaze upward knew the endless, the eternal. Every fixed star on the firmament was a sun, of which there are an endless number and there must be life everywhere.
Eight days had now passed since he heard his conviction, after they had tried to get him to recant for eight years. They were so afraid. What kind of spirit did they have before them, that they could not break, not through imprisonment, not by showing him the tools of torture, not by burning his books on the steps of St. Peter’s? A heretic who denies that a virgin can give birth, who denies that God is tripartite, who speaks of God in everything and the infinite, who accepts his judgment on his knees, and yet defiantly responds, “Perchance you who pronounce my sentence are in greater fear than I who receive it.” Now he was wearing the cowl, they had torn his arms from their sockets, broken both hands and arms, and hammered a large, bent nail through his tongue to keep him from speaking. For eight hours they were singing their litanies, the members of the archconfraternity San Giovanni Decollato sent to him, and he walked barefoot to Campo dei Fiori, free of fear. There he was stripped. How could a will persist in this remainder of skin and bones? He did not scream, his gaze facing upward to the infinite as the flames devoured his body from below.
It's always night, or we wouldn't need light (Giordano Bruno), 41° 5' N, 12° 28' O, 17.2.1600, 2014
It's always night, or we wouldn't need light (Giordano Bruno), 41° 5' N, 12° 28' O, 17.2.1600, 2014
wood, stainless steel, 130 x 120 x 8 cm

Giordano Bruno, 1548 - 1600

Rome, 41° 53’ 44.2 N, 12° 28’ 19.8 E. 6:30 am, Thursday, February 17, the 48th day of the holy year 1600. It was three days after the New Moon, one day after Ash Wednesday. The sun would rise in 35 minutes, but there was no moon over the holy city. The name-giver of this day of the week, Jupiter sank in the Northwest directly behind the obelisk on St Peter’s Square. Mercury was a messenger of injustice as it appeared in the southeast of the city.
It is everything, life, up there. Finally, he could look up, after eight years in the dungeons of the Inquisition, where there was only a slit in the wall through which a scrap of the sky could peep. Eight years without pen or paper, not a thought found its way outside, but that was now irrelevant, for his ideas had long made their way to letters and were the truth. The truth about the stars, the truth that God was in everything, that He is the Infinite in Infinity, the One in the All, the soul of the world, immanent to everything that exists. The universe was actually endless, with no beginning, no end. Of what kind of mind would one have to be, how could one defame God in such a way as to think we were at the center of a universe, that anything at all revolves around us. In this poor world, darkness always wins out over light. Religion, like the firefly, needs darkness to glow. No, he was not disenchanting the sky, but opening it in an unsuspected way. Of course, he could scarcely see anymore, all the worlds were just dull points, now pale before his eyes. Paler year after year. Yet, the gaze upward knew the endless, the eternal. Every fixed star on the firmament was a sun, of which there are an endless number and there must be life everywhere.
Eight days had now passed since he heard his conviction, after they had tried to get him to recant for eight years. They were so afraid. What kind of spirit did they have before them, that they could not break, not through imprisonment, not by showing him the tools of torture, not by burning his books on the steps of St. Peter’s? A heretic who denies that a virgin can give birth, who denies that God is tripartite, who speaks of God in everything and the infinite, who accepts his judgment on his knees, and yet defiantly responds, “Perchance you who pronounce my sentence are in greater fear than I who receive it.” Now he was wearing the cowl, they had torn his arms from their sockets, broken both hands and arms, and hammered a large, bent nail through his tongue to keep him from speaking. For eight hours they were singing their litanies, the members of the archconfraternity San Giovanni Decollato sent to him, and he walked barefoot to Campo dei Fiori, free of fear. There he was stripped. How could a will persist in this remainder of skin and bones? He did not scream, his gaze facing upward to the infinite as the flames devoured his body from below.
It's always night, or we wouldn't need light (Ibn Muqla), 33°20´N, 44°23´O, March 6. 935, 2014
wood, stainless steel, 117 x 128 x 8 cm

Ibn Muqla, 885 – 940

Baghdad, 33°37‘90N, 44°31‘74E. Sunday, the 285th day of the year 934. The night of the 12th of October. It was one day after the new moon. Today Vega and Saturn set almost simultaneously. Draco stood in the north, and Uranus had just moved through his zenith. At any moment Suhail would rise in the south. Sirius, the brightest among them, had just covered his shallow trajectory from east to west. Nothing obstructed his view of 3000 stars, which he could make out with the naked eye. The view he would never see in the same way again and whose plan he now understood.
Four were missing. Without them the script was not perfect. Language and script not in harmony. Form and content not in balance. He could form the sounds with his lips, could sing and speak them. They sounded and resounded in him. They were missing. He had to complete the alphabet, in which all the tones on earth could resonate. It would be perfect. A sound of the world. Script was created by man, the word by God. The Batin, the deeper meaning, was not in the word in its form on paper. There, on paper, its character must transform into a harmony for the eyes. Each stroke a tone, each word a sound, each page a song for the eyes, the calligraphy music for the eyes. Mathematics helped him find the formula for the correct measurements of the letters. Everything was circular. Every proportion was based on the point of the quill. Each letter a specific sum of this smallest unit. It was harmony and symmetry that bestowed upon them the honor they deserved. To find, define and record the missing letters must be possible.
And so on this night he looked up to the heavens, and it was as if He wished to reveal the letters to him, as if certain stars stood out, creating lines and curves between them, forming letters in the sky for him. There were fifteen, a whole new alphabet, graceful, perfect, complete. They had always been in the sky. No one had the power to erase them and, at the same time, the sky was the perfect hiding place for them. There he could keep them safe. He could protect them from his enemies. They wanted to control the words, so that people would see only the Zahir, the superficial meaning.
He did not realize that seeing those letters in the heavens would be his downfall, that it would cost him his hand, the hand with which he wrote the letters like no other, for which he should have been heralded as the greatest calligrapher of all time. They did not believe him, when he confessed that the letters were written in the night sky. They cut out his tongue so that he could not spread his sacrilegious words, so that no more sound came from him. Yet, they were not able to take the stars from the sky.
It's always night, or we wouldn't need light (Ibn Muqla), 33°20´N, 44°23´O, March 6. 935, 2014
It's always night, or we wouldn't need light (Ibn Muqla), 33°20´N, 44°23´O, March 6. 935, 2014
wood, stainless steel, 117 x 128 x 8 cm

Ibn Muqla, 885 – 940

Baghdad, 33°37‘90N, 44°31‘74E. Sunday, the 285th day of the year 934. The night of the 12th of October. It was one day after the new moon. Today Vega and Saturn set almost simultaneously. Draco stood in the north, and Uranus had just moved through his zenith. At any moment Suhail would rise in the south. Sirius, the brightest among them, had just covered his shallow trajectory from east to west. Nothing obstructed his view of 3000 stars, which he could make out with the naked eye. The view he would never see in the same way again and whose plan he now understood.
Four were missing. Without them the script was not perfect. Language and script not in harmony. Form and content not in balance. He could form the sounds with his lips, could sing and speak them. They sounded and resounded in him. They were missing. He had to complete the alphabet, in which all the tones on earth could resonate. It would be perfect. A sound of the world. Script was created by man, the word by God. The Batin, the deeper meaning, was not in the word in its form on paper. There, on paper, its character must transform into a harmony for the eyes. Each stroke a tone, each word a sound, each page a song for the eyes, the calligraphy music for the eyes. Mathematics helped him find the formula for the correct measurements of the letters. Everything was circular. Every proportion was based on the point of the quill. Each letter a specific sum of this smallest unit. It was harmony and symmetry that bestowed upon them the honor they deserved. To find, define and record the missing letters must be possible.
And so on this night he looked up to the heavens, and it was as if He wished to reveal the letters to him, as if certain stars stood out, creating lines and curves between them, forming letters in the sky for him. There were fifteen, a whole new alphabet, graceful, perfect, complete. They had always been in the sky. No one had the power to erase them and, at the same time, the sky was the perfect hiding place for them. There he could keep them safe. He could protect them from his enemies. They wanted to control the words, so that people would see only the Zahir, the superficial meaning.
He did not realize that seeing those letters in the heavens would be his downfall, that it would cost him his hand, the hand with which he wrote the letters like no other, for which he should have been heralded as the greatest calligrapher of all time. They did not believe him, when he confessed that the letters were written in the night sky. They cut out his tongue so that he could not spread his sacrilegious words, so that no more sound came from him. Yet, they were not able to take the stars from the sky.