The primary function of Schaubmar Mill – an ingenious three-storey machine – was to grind grain. The proportions of the wheels and gears, however, offered millers other, equally useful, possibilities for its use. Attaching additional mechanisms enabled a variety of activities from knife sharpening to threshing grain and sawing wood. The machine, which occupied the bowels of an entire building, could be switched on from different rooms and different floors throughout the blacksmiths’ and carpenters’ workshops.

The sophisticated kinetics of the machine and its ingenious gears are analogous to digital algorithms, formulas, and programs. It was this mathematics, originally designed for grinding flour and which has been counting zero for more than half a century, that Király tried to utilise, transform, metabolise, and rearticulate.

In his work, Fero Király converts perception of the mill as a mechanical aon into that of a musical aon, and through this has bestowed an alternative identity. He composes a symbiosis of sounds through mechanical additions to the machine’s parts, vaguely referring to the tradition of barrel organs, thereby adding a new, poetic layer of meaning to the originally utilitarian mechanism of the mill machine.

He uses primary materials found in the mill, as well as waste material and various types of percussion or other sound-producing objects. He even incorporates musical instruments, such as the violin and zither. The music changes in relation to the movement of a visitor within the room, and is complemented by a constant sound of the mill machine.

The mechanics of the installation have a wide range of variable parameters, creating an impression of randomness and giving each musical piece a unique ending.

The title of the work comes from a quotation by Gustáv Schaubmar’s daughter, whose memories are captured in the video Building Trust Over the Years (SNG, 2022). It refers to continued rotation of the millstone following the end of the grinding process – it began to make a pronounced sound of stone rubbing against stone, which signalled the end of the work.

Eva Kotláriková

Foto: Fero Király
Foto: Fero Király
Foto: Fero Király
Foto: Fero Király