A4, Visualisation/ Concept for a Work, 2013
When investigating the phenomenon of Kaspar Hauser for a group exhibition Bjørn Melhus came across a story about a message in a bottle that had been fished from the Rhine river in 1816. It contained a message in Latin reading roughly as follows: “I am being retained near Laufenburg. My jail is underground and unknown to the person that has usurped my throne. I cannot write more.” This message was signed with “S Hanes Sprancio”.
From 87 billion possibilities a decryption programme can make from these 14 letters “SEIN SOHN CASPAR” (meaning: his son Caspar), which gives rise to another myth. Why was this interpretation made in German and not in Latin, the language in which the message was written. What about all the other possibilities?
This A4 page is a visualisation for a concept: A LED display located in an exterior area runs through all combinations of these 14 letters that make sense. Apart from German this could also be tried in Latin or in French with translation back into German. The one who seeks will find. And further stories will be added. Who knows …