Research and photographic observations on the river Traisen, Lower Austria
Comissioned by the “Way of the Water”, Tangente St.Pölten
Regina Hügli 2023/24

The task of creating a work about the River Traisen and her industrial streams confronted me with the fundamental question of what a river actually is. I wanted to produce a portrait of the Traisen, to illustrate her photographically. And, in doing so, I became aware of how impossible it is to capture this dynamic entity, which is as visible as it is invisible. Just as impossible, I imagined, as stepping into the same river twice.

The river, which has a length of around 80 km, rises in the Limestone Alps and flows into the Danube, is strongly regulated and intensively used. For example, the Traisen also feeds two factory streams in the St. Pölten area and drives numerous turbines. In recent years, she has been subject to a number of interventions in the form of renatur- ation projects.

I addressed the visible and invisible ways in which the flowing water, groundwater, landscape, weather, people, in- frastructure, flora and fauna interact in the Traisen. I asked how these are perceived and used and how the spaces that they create are reshaped. Traisen, She/Her is based on photographic observations along the river and conver- sations with people who live and work on the Traisen; who use, transform or research her. On the trail of the hyperob- ject “Traisen”, my research materialises in a photographic inventory of a wide range of interactions that contribute
to the current form of the river. The research is inspired by the concept of hydro-logic (according to Astrida Neimanis), which enables us to develop a new ontological understand- ing of bodies and community.

File through the publication in the “Pocket Guide – The Way of the Water”  here.

Pasture and forest in the source region of Unrechttraisen and Tuernitzer Traisen

Aquaeduct of industrial stream of Unrechttraisen at Hofamt

Pebble and Algae of the river Traisen

Aluminium production at Neuman Aluminium Lilienfeld, AT.

Weir and hydroplant at the Traisen, Lilienfeld

Empty riverbed with infrastructure

water striders on rest water in an empty industrial stream

Abfischung des Mühlbachs der  Traisen bei der Mühlbachabkehr.

Remains of human interaction with the river Traisen

Visitors of the Frequency Festival Austria, bathing in the river Traisen

Sewage at the sewage treatment plant Traismauer, Austria.

Badesee Traismauer, connected to the river Traisen by groundwater.