# Fotoeins Fotografie

## Finding Erwin Schrödinger

### Localizing his final wavefunction, at rest in Alpbach

It took a little effort: a train out from Innsbruck to Brixlegg, followed by a regional bus into another valley of countless valleys, accompanied by the illumination of sharp morning light, in a blanket of meadows and buttercups, under a deep ocean of impossibly blue skies. And on both sides of this river valley are an endless series of mountains, these peaks the smaller cousins to larger Austrian Alps nearby.

In Alpbach, the weekday morning is quiet, as the town begins to stir with people starting their work day. The bank has just opened, fresh baked bread and pastry and roasted coffee emanate from the cafe from around the corner, a couple of trucks rumble into town with deliveries. An older couple walks by, and there are mutual sunny greets of “Grüss Gott”. The church steeple glows yellow at this hour, and it’s easy to imagine with its bell the church is an aural and visual beacon for miles.

I’m drawn to the church because that was always the plan, to look for someone who’s buried in the church cemetery. Ordered rows of headstones lie as you would expect, but by the northwest gate, I find a single plaque on the bordering stone wall. The plaque reads: “Erwin Schrödinger, Nobelpreis für Physik, 1933”, and next to the plaque is Erwin and Annemarie Schrödinger’s final resting spot. Another academic pilgrimage completed.

1933 Nobel Prize in Physics

Erwin and Annemarie

At the top is the generalized Schrödinger equation which was his breakthrough and one of his many contributions to the field of quantum mechanics in the early 20th-century. For the wave function, psi, of any physical system, the equation reads

i h-bar psi-dot equals H psi

with wavefunction psi (dependent on spatial= and time-coordinates), time-derivative psi-dot, Hamiltonian operator H, and constants i and h-bar. What Newton’s 2nd Law (F = ma) is to classical mechanics, Schrödinger’s generalized equation applies to quantum mechanics. In fact, you can derive Newton’s 2nd Law from Schrödinger’s equation, which I did decades ago as a university student, blowing away my young little brain. The white dot above the second “psi” at the right was clearly a mistake during construction; the subsequent attempt to amend the mistake is almost a distraction on its own.

I chat with two people: the woman working the counter at the Tappeiner bakery, and a man who leads guided walks of the area. In both cases, I forgot to ask one key question: do they know the Schrödinger family? Turns out his daughter lives here in town, and their granddaughter’s family comes in regularly from Vienna.

That’s for next time, because I leave for Innsbruck before the morning is out. This beautiful town has extended its beautiful claws, and I realize now I have to come back to Alpbach.

I made the photos on 14 May 2018. This post appears on Fotoeins Fotografie at fotoeins.com as https://wp.me/p1BIdT-bS9.

## My Hamburg: Chilehaus in the Kontorhausviertel, UNESCO WHS

On 5 July 2015, UNESCO awarded World Heritage status to two sites in Hamburg: the Speicherstadt (Warehouse District) and the Kontorhausviertel (Office Building District). In the latter are two important brick buildings: Chilehaus and the Sprinkenhof, representative of the construction in the late 19th- and early 20th-century.

The Chilehaus was built by Fritz Höger for client Henry Sloman from 1922 to 1924 in the Kontorhausviertel as a prime example of German expressionist architecture using hard-fired brick. Höger undertook the project for Hamburg merchant and banker Sloman who made his fortune in importing nitrates from Chile. Built entirely to serve and complement the functions of the warehouses in neighbouring Speicherstadt, the Kontorhausviertel was the first dedicated office- and commercial-district on the European continent.

Sprinkenhof

Sprinkenhof

Chilehaus, northwest corner: Niedernstrasse at Depenau

Chilehaus, southwest corner: Pumpen at Messberg

Chilehaus, east ‘prow’: Burchardstrasse

Chilehaus, up the ‘prow’

Kontorhausviertel at night (on Burchardstrasse)

(Click on the arrow-window icon at the upper-left corner of the map below for an explanation of the map symbols.)

I made the photos above on 26 June 2010 and 3 December 2015. This post appears on Fotoeins Fotografie on fotoeins.com as https://wp.me/p1BIdT-biH.

## Fotoeins Friday: ‘DISOBEY’, Munich Eisbachwelle

On a brisk overcast winter afternoon in Munich, I watched surfers tackle the one-metre wave at the Eisbachwelle. I saw one woman among the surfers during the two hours I spent clicking away. I realized after returning to Vancouver and inspecting the pictures that her surfboard had at its front end the word “DISOBEY.”

I made the above photo on 23 February 2017 with the Canon 6D, 70-300 glass, and the following settings: 1/200-sec, f/16, ISO2500, and 100mm focal length. This post appears on Fotoeins Fotografie on fotoeins.com as https://wp.me/p1BIdT-bHN.

## Prague’s David Černý: skillful s**t disturber

Considered “enfant terrible” in the European and Czech art scene, David Černý frequently has courted both controversy and amusement from the beginning in 1991 with the Pink (Soviet) Tank. Is he infuriating and crude or enlightened and hilarious? Is he misunderstood social commentator or attention-seeking hooligan? He continues to make art at home in Prague, and provoke strong reactions.

Černý’s creations can be found throughout the Czech capital city. You can decide for yourself if his artwork is inspiring or dull.

• Babies (Miminka), at 2 locations
• Brownnosers
• Embryo
• Hanging Out (Viselec)
• Horse (Kůň)
• K on Sun
• Piss (Proudy)
• Quo Vadis?
• Zátopek’s Legs (Zátopkovy nohy)

### Babies (Miminka)

Location: Television Tower, Žižkov.
DPP: Metro A to Jiřího z Poděbrad; tram 11, 13 to Jiřího z Poděbrad; tram 5, 9, 15, 26 to Lipanská.

The tower is the tallest structure in Prague with a height of 216 metres above sea-level. But I think it’s the faceless babies which are the true attraction. First installed on the tower in 2000, the sculpture consisting of ten fibreglass babies became a permanent exhibition in 2001. In October 2017, “Babies” were removed from the tower for long-needed cleaning and repairs. The sculpture is scheduled to return to the tower in spring 2018. More information in English about visiting the TV Tower can be found here.

Photo: 14 March 2009.

Photo: 14 March 2009.

Žižkov tower (Žižkovská věž), at Náměstí Jiřího z Poděbrad and Přemyslovská. Photo: 4 August 2013.

### Babies (Miminka)

Location: Museum Kampa, Malá Strana.
DPP: tram 12, 15, 20, 22, 23 to Hellichova.

Residing next to the museum on Kampa Island are three bronze “babies”. Check out the creepy slots for faces; yikes.

Photo: 6 December 2008.

### Brownnosers

Location: Galerie Futura, Smíchov.
DPP: Metro B to Anděl, tram 9, 10, 15, 16 to Bertramka.

Two sets of headless bent-over fiberglass figures are found outside towards the (ahem) rear of the gallery; visitors are invited to climb the ladders to inspect each figure. I hear music emanating from an orifice. On this wet cold autumn day, I’m the only one here to ‘suffer’ the voluntary embarrassment of climbing up the stairs and sticking my head into the back end of one of the figures. Inside the circular aperture is a video of two men in masks feeding each other slop to the tune of Queen’s “We Are The Champions”; see video below. In caricature are Vaclav Klaus, who was Czech president (2003-2013), and Milan Knížák, who was director of the Czech National Gallery (1990-2011).

Photo: 6 November 2016.

Photo: 6 November 2016.

### Embryo

Location: Na Zábradlí at Anenské náměstí (Anna Square), Staré Město.
DPP: Metro A or B, to Můstek; Metro B to Národní třída; tram 2, 17, 18 to Karlovy lázně (southbound); tram 2, 17, 18 to Národní divadlo (northbound).

Hidden in a corner of the Old Town near Charles Bridge is a little plaza named after Saint Anna. Something resembling an “embryo” glows red on the side of the building for Divadlo Na zábradlí (Theatre on the Balustrade). Is there some mystery inside to be revealed or something more insidious to be unleashed to the world?

This photo and below: 5 November 2016.

Is something lurking in the glowing embryo?

### Hanging Out (Viselec)

Location: Husova at Betlémské náměstí (Bethlehem Square), Staré Město.
DPP: Metro A or B, to Můstek; Metro B to Národní třída; tram 2, 17, 18 to Karlovy lázně (southbound); tram 2, 17, 18 to Národní divadlo (northbound).

Look up, waaaaay up. The people around you will look strangely at you: what is he looking? Up above, a well-dressed gentleman in glasses and a suit hangs onto a beam with one arm, his calm steely gaze over you, me, and his surroundings. The man represented is supposed to be Sigmund Freud: what would he have thought about all this? Is his ceaseless gaze judging us with superiority?

Photo: 20 April 2008.

Photo: 20 October 2008.

Photo: 6 October 2009 with Canon 450D, 70-300 glass, settings: 1/320-sec, f/8, ISO400, 225mm focal length (360mm full-frame equivalent).

### Horse (Kůň)

Location: Palác Lucerna, Nové Město.
DPP: Metro A or B, to Můstek; Metro A or C, to Muzeum; tram 3, 5, 6, 9, 14, 24 to Václavské náměstí.

This sculpture of Wenceslas sitting on a dead upside-down horse is a parody of the memorial statue by Myslbek (unveiled 1913, completed 1924) outside at Wenceslas Square nearby. I think the dead beaten horse says a lot about what Cerny thinks about a heroic figure in Czech history with near mythological dimensions. (In 2017, Palác Lucerna was added to the list of Czech National Cultural Monuments.)

Photo: 27 July 2013; compare this sculpture with the more “respectable” one below.

Pomník svatého Václava (Saint Wenceslas statue) by Josef Myslbek. Photo: 2 July 2010 at the top/southeast end of Václavské náměstí (Wenceslas Square).

### K on Sun

Location: OC Quadrio (since 2014), Nové Město.
DPP: Metro B to Národní třída; tram 2, 9, 18, 22, 23 to Národní třída.

At the eastern end of the Quadrio shopping centre (Obchodní centrum, OC) is a large shiny rotating head of Franz Kafka, whose pieces rotate in different directions before coming back together as a whole. The 11-metre tall kinetic piece consists of 42 horizontal layers which can all move independently; see video below. With his face in a constant state of metamorphosis, the sculpture can represent Kafka’s anguish and complicated personality, a giant piece of metal reflecting outwards what might otherwise have been a form of introverted hell.

Photo: 5 November 2016.

Photo: 5 November 2016.

### Piss (Proudy)

Location: Franz Kafka Museum, Malá Strana.
DPP: Metro A to Malostranská; tram 2, 12, 15, 18, 20, 22, 23 to Malostranská; tram 12, 15, 20, 22, 23 to Malostranské náměstí.

Two masculine statues relieve themselves in a metal pool of water in the shape of the map of the Czech Republic. The statues whirl and twirl their “streams” to spell out famous Czech sayings. The sculpture has its own mobile number; a text sent to that number will make the sculpture pause and begin “streaming” whatever that text message is. Located next to the Franz Kafka museum, the sculpture “mocks the idea of art as a cultural enterprise devoted to the national interest.”

Photo: 3 July 2008.

### Quo Vadis?

Location: back of German Embassy at Vlašská 19, Malá Strana.
DPP: Tram 12, 15, 20, 22, 23 to Malostranské náměstí.

The “Trabant on four legs” at the rear of the German embassy marks an extraordinary set of events in late-summer/early-autumn of 1989. Thousands of East German refugees made their way into Prague and swarmed into the Embassy of West Germany (at the time) to seek safe passage to the west. Conditions on the embassy grounds quickly deteriorated, and after rounds of talks and negotiations, the various parties and nations agreed to allow people to leave the embassy, sparking this unforgettable scene on the evening of 30 September 1989. “Quo Vadis?” in Latin means “who goes there?”

Back of the German Embassy in Prague. This photo and below: 17 March 2010.

### Zátopek’s Legs (Zátopkovy nohy)

Location: DOX Centre for Contemporary Art, Holešovice.
DPP: Metro C to Nádraží Holešovice; tram 6, 12 to Ortenovo náměstí.

As part of the “All Hail Sport” temporary exhibition at DOX, Cerny’s sculpture of a lower torso with legs in running motion directly references (Emil) Zátopek. He was perhaps one of the finest Olympians and Czechs about whom people have rarely or never heard.

Photo: 7 November 2016.

Click on the arrow-window icon in the upper-left corner of the map below for the legend.

More: jedno, dvĕ, tři, čtyři, pĕt.

I made all photos and short video clips on multiple visits to Prague in 2008, 2009, 2010, 2013, and 2016. This post appears on Fotoeins Fotografie at fotoeins.com as http://wp.me/p1BIdT-3D9.

## Fotoeins Friday: winter surfing at Munich’s Eisbach

Only the experienced surfers are advised and encourage to tackle this 1-metre (3-foot) high standing wave in the middle of Munich. On a side branch of the Isar river, the Eisbachwelle (literally, “cold brook wave”) is a sensational spot to watch surfers line up to ride the wave, as well as to watch curious onlookers from both resident and visitor alike. With the river’s headwaters in the Alps, the water has a green tinge because of the chalky white deposits.

I made the photo above on 23 February 2017 with the Canon 6D, 24-105 zoom, and the following settings: 1/5-sec, f/22, ISO100, and 24mm focal length. This post appears on Fotoeins Fotografie at fotoeins.com as http://wp.me/p1BIdT-9IT.

### More

•   Toytown Germany, in English
•   City portal muenchen.de, in German