The UNgine Room: The Dark Workshop

The surface area of The Unstitute, although not yet fully calculated due to its growth, barely suggests the scope and intricacy of the entire edifice; indeed, the iceberg metaphor falls short in this instance to capture the scale and diversity of unseen processes of manufacture taking place within the entropic engines housed in sub-basements and subterranean levels upon which The Unstitute, as coherent structure, is precariously perched. More of an escarpment than part of the building, the reef-like inversion of machines, rooms, corridors and conduits from which the surface levels draw their cogency appear anything but logical; both in their construction and intended use. For instance, though most of the engines housed in the immediate underground levels appear not to be functioning, they remain in their dilapidated state as testament to the future innovations without which their success would not be. Vast, monolithic engines- so large one can walk inside – yield to a proliferation of smaller but no less useless machines appended to it, so as to justify the initial engine’s existence. Any functioning parts have long since ground to a standstill, rusted into permanent configurations signifying nothing. A new significance arises, but not from the productivity of the machines. They may yet still function, but never in our presence.

The slums of the first machinists lie empty on the upper levels, a veritable rabbit warren of tenements, corridors without logic or destination, personal affects long-since discarded. It is easy to be lost here in the constantly proliferating alleyways; one might say the slum was designed to confuse, and yet evidence of design is empirically lacking. Some speculate that ancient engineers still frequent certain quarters, easily able to conceal their existence from visitors through their unparalleled knowledge of the slum-warren, going about their obsolete functions on the obsolete machines perhaps from sheer nostalgia in the absence of pay. Their activity lies unrecorded. Though this is sheer speculation from my point of view, it is clear that speculative content possesses a certain reality here. The entire edifice acts as though nothing is wrong, as though the obsolete machines have not yet heard of their own uselessness, and engineers humour the machines by tinkering with them on occasion. Indeed, it is sad to die. But it is yet more sad to preserve the illusion of value from mere sentiment.

A matrix of generators creates a lattice of large – incomparably large – chambers throughout the initial sub-level. Structurally and spatially improbable, the visitor will note how the sound of their own presence generates audible-fields of feedback, winnowing through conduits somewhere further underground, where an unseen engine grinds into motion. The poetical effects of these larger chambers are merely a side-effect of their unimagined state, the feedback they provide, and the nefarious matrix which is unwillingly fed by the occupant’s presence is semi-vampiric, unsettling inasmuch as the conversion-process happens entirely underground and out of sight, and can only be guessed at its final destination. What use the machines make of the sound of visitors down here is entirely unknown, and is most probably of little or no importance whatsoever.

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