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Swarovski crystal worlds  Bernd Kretzschmar
 Mar 30, 2008 04:19 PST 

hi,

last week me and my family went to Austria and part of the trip was a visit at the Swarovski Crystal world museum at Wattens

the museum itself is very beautiful. Andrè Heller did a great job. The green water spitting giant, the surrounding park with sculptures, some of the installations are very beautiful and inspiring, the snow topped majestic mountain panorama...

When visiting the very museum here are some useful (I hope) infos:

Once inside there are no lockers. If you carry a coat or jacket / bag(s).
In the summertime this is no big deal but when me and my family went inside with our heavy coats plus the usual
on the way with little kids I ended up following the rest of the family packed like a sherpa. When you leave the museum you casn`t re-enter unless you pay for another ticket.

Since there are jackets and bags allowed inside you can bring in cameras, audio recorders and so on. And use them.

Of course my main focus was on Eno contributions:

1) inside the crystal dome there is music by Brian Eno playing. But besides a single bell tone every now and then I couldn`t locate (or record) anything. Around the whole round room there are beamers on the floor and the electric engines (when the very beamers are moving) plus the usual noise by the people inside
made it impossible to hear Eno`s music (and believe me- I TRIED!).

http://kristallwelten.swarovski.com/Content.Node/homepage.php
---> click on tour on the left of the screen
---> 02
(if you click on the triangle object in the middle you can hear an Eno bell music loop)

2) There is a round rotating crystal mounted on a beamer (pointing to the cealing). On the cealing you see the ever changing and turning mandala which is created by this kaleidoscope.
In this installation there was music playing which sounded very Eno to me. Unfortunately the recording sounded like being played from an old worn up tape (with lots of clipping in the louder parts). The (unreleased) music piece itself is very calm and relaxing (and barely changing)
At the moment there is an additional India themed exhibit set up at the museum. Part of this are several TV screens sqeueezed inbetween the existing installations. And since most rooms are not seperated the sounds mix up and in this very kaleidoscope you also heard a lot of the nearby tv documentary about an Indian market.
(I made a sample recording but gave up after 3 minutes)


http://kristallwelten.swarovski.com/Content.Node/homepage.php
---> click on tour on the left of the screen
---> 04
(the music played there is not the very music you can hear at the museum)



3) After 10 years the previous Eno installation `Crystal meditation``was replaced by `55 Million

this room has 3 illuminated stills on the left and the right wall plus at the front an ensemble of flat screens with ever slowly changing images from the ``77 Mio. paintings`` image series. The music played is `Ikebukuro`(which is also on the 77 Mio. P. dvd and used in various other Eno installations)

you can see and download an image of this room here:

http://www.pressezone.at/presse/2007/11/2007-11-29_skw_pk_nachlese.php    
scroll down a bit.

there are several benches and chairs hear the front screens so you can sit down and watch/listen.
This Eno installation is by the way the only permanent one worldwide

4) in one hallway the smell of Neroli perfume was present. This might also be an Eno contribution (mind his experiments with perfumes in the 70s/80s and the album with the same name).

It is very beautiful and worthwhile to visit (not only for Eno- many famous artists contributed to it). But don`t expect to be alone or in a quiet surrounding (which would be perfect to enjoy the music and installations). Changes are best to go there very early or late and not at holiday seasons.
If you see images the rooms/installations are shown without people (or only one person inside)- Be aware that this very museum is the 2nd best visited museum in Austria.


I also believe that the no locker/once left you can`t go back inside is to get the people as soon as possible to the Swarovski crystal shop- which you have to enter at the end of the museum (and which seems to be bigger then the whole rest of the museum).
Of course art needs sponsors and it is a good thing that Swarovski payed Heller to create the museum. But it is quite clear the the museum is the bait to get customers to come there.

Look at the web page. on the left ´tour` - no. 9 is the crystal shop ;-) .....


At the museum I asked about a catalog or any products that had something to do with the artists. There were none! This is very sad, the museum deserves better then that!!!!

According to an employee at the crystal shop the old catalog is out of stock (the leftovers have been given away for free) and there will hopefully be a new one available some day.

I was very inspired by my 3 kids which came to the museum without any expectations. They are not impressed by famous artists names- but looked around what they liked and had fun.
This is the ideal way to do it!!!!

best regards, Bernd
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