2005. Story of a Fructiferous Society

I was told about a German language society called Fruchtbringende Gesellschaft by my friend & collaborator Florian Cramer. The society was founded in 1617 partially to promote the German language at a time when it was considered of less value than French & Italian to European aristocrats. The original society was disbanded in 1668.

[After I posted a link to this page to the Facebook Neoist page, Florian provided the following correction:

"The society was founded in 1617 partially to promote the German language at a time when it was considered of less value than French & Italian" -> no, of less value than Latin. Such societies existed in most European countries; actually, the Fruchtbringende Gesellschaft was founded & built after the model of the Italian Accademia della Crusca (which still exists today). It did not only promote German, but standardize and partly invent the language, since (a) a standard grammar and lexicon did not exist yet, and the language consisted of dialects whose speakers mostly couldn't understand each other; (b) many words didn't exist in German (and other spoken 'vulgar' European languages) and were invented by the Society's linguists. The German Fruchtbringende Gesellschaft prominently involved the Nuremberg experimental poets around Georg Philipp Harsdörffer. Despite its dubious fame of being mostly a drinking society for aristocrats, and its hidden protestant agenda, it also enabled a lot of language experiments in its own time. Harsdörffer's own word combination machine is a direct result of the language studies/experiments of the Fruchtbringende Gesellschaft and its leading linguist Justus Georg Schottelius: http://permutations.pleintekst.nl/harsdoerffer/denckring/denckring.cgi ]


It was Florian's intention to revive the use of the society's name, if not necessarily its purpose, & I became one of its 1st, & only, members. I made 'business' cards for us & made one or 2 other people members, to their apparent confusion, by giving them a card of their own.

The 2nd thing I did in its name was a performance piece with projection in Magyar for a Hungarian Neoist Festival in 1997 which was 1st performed on July 5th, 1997, with etta cetera & Florian Cramer:


226. Egy Gyümölcsérlo Társulat Torténete / Story of a Fructiferous Society

- XXXPanzio A Neoizmus?! Anti-Esemény / XXXPanzio In the Name of Neoism?! Anti-Event - Madách Imre Müvelódési Központ / Culture Center, Vác, Hungary

- Saturday, July 5th, 1997, 6 to 6:21PM

- In the name of the Ballooning One I evoke the Fruchtbringende Gesellschaft. The Ballooning One wrote: "Once upon a time there was a Fructiferous Society. At one point it consisted of The Forked One and The Ballooning One and others and they met in Hungary and it was GOOD." & it was translated into Hungarian by András L. Frenyo & it was GOOD:

Egyszer volt, hol nem volt,

1 10 5 1 3 2 7 4 9 6 7 4 8 1 10 2 7 4 9

E gy SZ e r v O l t , h O l n e m v O l t

.1, .2, .3, .4, .6, .8, .9, 1, 1.2, 1.7,1.8,1.9, 2.1,2.2, 2.3 2.5, 2.6, 2.7, 2.8

volt egyszer

2 7 4 9 1 10 5 1 3

v O l t e gy SZ e r

3.2,3.3,3.4,3.6 3.7, 3.8, 3.9, 4, 4.1

egy Gyümölcsérlö Társulat.

1 10 10 1 10 9 4 7 10 3 4 2 9 8 3 5 8 4 6 9

e gy Gy ü m ö l CS é r l ö T á r S u l a t .

4.4, 4.5, 4.7, 4.8, 4.9, 5, 5.2, 5.3, 5.4,5.5, 5.6, 5.7, 6, 6.1,6.2, 6.3,6.4,6.5,6.6,6.7

Volt a Villás-Jellemü,

2 7 4 9 6 2 6 4 8 5 3 1 4 1 10 3

v O l t a v i ll á S - j e ll e m ü ,

7.6,7.7,7.8,7.9, 8.1, 8.3,8.4, 8.5, 8.6, 8.7, 8.9, 9, 9.1, 9.2, 9.3, 9.4

a Ballon-Jellemü,

6 9 6 4 7 8 3 1 4 1 10 3

a B a ll O n - j e ll e m ü ,

10, 10.3,10.4, 10.5, 10.6,10.7, 11, 11.1,11.2,11.4,11.5,11.6

és voltak mások

10 5 2 7 4 9 6 1 10 8 5 7 1

é S v O l t a k m á S O k

12.3,12.4, 12.6, 12.7,12.8,12.9,13, 13.1 13.3,13.4,13.5,13.6,13.7

ök találkoztak Magyarországon

2 1 9 6 4 8 4 1 7 5 9 6 1 10 6 10 6 3 7 3 5 8 2 7 8

ö k t a l á l k O Z t a k M a gy a r O r SZ á g O n

14, 14.1, 14.3,14.4,14.5,14.6,14.7,14.8,14.9,15,15.1,15.2,15.3, 15.5,15.6, 15.7,15.8,15.9, 16, 16.1, 16.2, 16.3,16.4,16.5,16.6

és az jó volt.

10 5 6 5 3 4 2 7 4 9

é S a Z j ó v O l t .

17.2,17.3, 17.5, 17.7, 17.9, 18, 18.2,18.3,18.4,18.5

The #s over the phonemes indicate the track #s or 'performer' #s. The #s under the phonemes indicate their approximate position in seconds & tenths of seconds in the 10 track computer edit version. Spacial placement leaves alot to be desired in this html version. (Actually, there are 12 tracks - as explained below)

Track 01: e, e, e, e, e, e, ü, e, e, e, e, k, k, k, k, k

Track 02: v, v, v, ö, v, v, v, ö, g, v

Track 03: r, r, r, r, j, ü, j, ü, r, r, j

Track 04: l, l, l, l, l, l, l, l, ll, ll, ll, ll, l, l, l, ó, l

Track 05: SZ, SZ, S, S, S, S, Z, SZ, S, Z

Track 06: h, a, a, i, a, a, a, a, a, a, a, a

Track 07: O, O, O, O, CS, O, O, O, O, O, O, O, O

Track 08: n, á, u, á, n, á, á, á, n

Track 09: t, t, t, ö, t, t, t, b, t, t, t, t

Track 10: gy, m, gy, gy, gy, m, é, m, m, é, m, m, gy, é

1st the simple story was written in English. Then this was translated into Hungarian by András L. Frenyo. Then a slow reading of it by András was recorded & timed at app. 20 seconds. Then the text was broken into the phonemes & read into the SoundEdit program very slowly to enable easier editing. These tracks were duplicated 10 times. Different phonemes were isolated on different tracks as shown above. After laborious editing the slow phonetic reading was condensed to app. 20 seconds in such a way that the vertical coordination between the tracks still followed the horizontal continuity of the original text.

The tracks are then played in a progressively accumulative manner:

1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10

1+2, 2+3, 3+4, 4+5, 5+6, 6+7, 7+8, 8+9, 9+10

1-3, 2-4, 3-5, 4-6, 5-7, 6-8, 7-9, 8-10

1-4, 2-5, 3-6, 4-7, 5-8, 6-9, 7-10

1-5, 2-6, 3-7, 4-8, 5-9, 6-10

1-6, 2-7, 3-8, 4-9, 5-10

1-7, 2-8, 3-9, 4-10

1-8, 2-9, 3-10

1-9, 2-10




Track 11 is the recording of all the phonemes added together. Due to inadequacies of the editing program's playback abilities (frequent pauses interupt the playback as the # of tracks played back simultaneously increases) this track is played to make its predecessors slightly more comprehensible. Track 12 is the original regular reading of the text (ie: not 1 built from individual phonemes - but simply spoken) to bring it into a final clarity.

A live performance of this would be possible with 10 reciters each pronouncing the phonemes of 1 of the tracks in the same order as described above. A conductor &/or extremely accurate visual timer would be helpful. Slowing the tempo would make it more plausible. Ideally, the performers would only speak using their track phonemes for at least 1 day leading up to the more 'staged' presentation.

- the Ballooning One - April '97

The resultant recording was used as the soundtrack for a video which begins with the title: "Egy Gyümölcsérlo Társulat Torténete" after which the gradual phonemic puzzle assembly begins. Each time a phoneme is pronounced its visual text symbol appears in a microsecond flash. The 1st 10 tracks are heard & seen & then the image becomes white even though the sound continues. Text finally reappears when track 12 is heard & then a credit appears & the video/vaudeo's over. This tape was projected onto a white wall. The Forked One led in The Ballooning One & The Forked One Proxy who were within the same pair of specially prepared white coveralls. Both were nude inside the suit. The Forked One Proxy hung upside down from the shoulders of The Ballooning One with her body facing forward away from The Ballooning One's front. Her legs were through the sleeves & her arms were in the legs. The Ballooning One's arms held onto a t-shirt tied around her waist so that he could help hold her up. The coveralls had a velcro seam all the way around the vertical middle so that the suit could split in half. Each side also had a velcro seam. The head area was covered by a velcro-attached pillow-case as was the crotch area. As such, neither of their bodies showed except where The Forked One Proxy's feet protruded from the arm-holes & where The Ballooning One's feet protruded from the feet-holes. This was probably very confusing for the viewers. The Forked One braced his hands against the projection wall, with his back to the audience, & gave a lecture about Adamitic language & The Fructiferous Society & related subjects. The video was projected & the sound was heard. The Ballooning One & The Forked One Proxy struggled to stay upright while The Forked One Proxy attempted lightbulb waves with her feet. Eventually, The Forked One Proxy screamed to let The Ballooning One know that she couldn't take it anymore & they collapsed to the floor. During all this, the suit gradually ripped apart - revealing the confusedly intertwined bodies. On the floor, they wrestled & tried to make their joint appearance as convoluted as possible. Different parts of the velcro adhered to each other so that new suit configurations were created. Eventually, they dragged themselves off down a hallway - still knotted together. The vaudeo ended, the lecture ended.

" Towards an attempt to promote a Turko-Calvinist Alliance which should free Budapest from the Pope and Hapsburg oppression!"

(- the Forked One - June '97)

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE


It was next performed as part of a Sound Poetry festival a few days later:


235. Egy Gyümölcsérlo Társulat Torténete / Story of a Fructiferous Society

- Venezia Poesia '97 Budapesten - Mu Színház, Buda(Pest), Hungary

- Wednesday, July 9th, 1997, 9:30PM

- See entry #226. I had been told that the time limit for this festival was 15 minutes. When discussing this with the festival director, Nagy Pál, I told him that my presentation could either be 14 minutes, if the vaudeo were to be fast-forwarded with the sound still audible for 7 minutes at a precise time, or 21 minutes (under normal conditions). I was there with Ghera at the time because she was on the same bill & she said that her thing would be only 10 minutes & Nagy Pál said that it would be no problem for me to present the entire 21 minutes of my thing - using Ghera's unused time. Moving about with etta hanging from my shoulders with a pillow case over my head isn't easy & requires unslippery floor conditions. Ladik Katalin had flour spilled on the floor during her performance before my presentation. Then there was water from someone else's. Then Ghera spit olive pits & juice on the floor. It was a slippery mess. I'd specified that I wanted the mikes at a certain place where a spotlight was supposed to be. When it was time to go out on stage, Ghera (who was wearing a sortof ball-gown that she'd worn for her performance) was steering us with great difficulty to the mikes which were still on the opposite side of the stage from where we'd requested them because of their use in the previous performance by Angela Idealism & Albert Markós. After we'd managed to make it to where the mikes were without getting my feet too slimed, the technicians realized that the mikes were in the wrong place & moved them to the other side of the stage. With Ghera's help we barely made it across the goop to the mikes' new positions. Ghera didn't undertand that we didn't want her to help anymore & hovered around us while we gyrated & moaned a bit. Within minutes we were exhausted & it was very difficult for me to remain upright with my feet covered with the residue from the previous acts. We eventually collapsed to the floor & got more goopy than ever as we dragged ourselves across the stage to our point of origin - with the confused Ghera attempting to help us & with the confused sound-men following us with the mikes. After about 13 minutes of the video we were off-stage. 2 minutes later the video was shut off without having been allowed to reach its 'punchline'. At my request, Ghera went out on stage & exclaimed that it wasn't over yet! The tech guy fumbled around for a minute or so & stuck the video back in & projected it for another minute or 2 & then turned it off again. Apparently, Nagy Pál hadn't told them that it was ok for it to go over the 15 minute limit & they cut it off because it was too long. I went out to the mike & spoke the full text that would've been the 'punchline' in English to the probably thoroughly confused audience.

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE


It may've been during this 1997 trip or in early 2004 when I visited Florian briefly in Berlin that he gave me a book in German about the society. I basically don't speak German so I didn't read the book but I skimmed through it & then forgot I had it.

In the late fall of 2004 I got my 1st computer capable of video editing. Shortly thereafter, I made "Story of a Fructiferous Society", a feature length movie, from late 2004 to the spring of 2005.


257. "Story of a Fructiferous Society"

- credited to: The Ballooning One & The Forked One of the Fructiferous Society

- texts culled from many sources - prominent amongst wch is Umberto Eco's "The Search for the Perfect Language"

- shot in Montréal, Berlin, & Pittsburgh

- as usual, most of everything (camera, editing, texts, concept, etc..) by: tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

- some additional camerawork provided by Monty Cantsin, Kent Bye, etta cetera

- sound primarily from: tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE w/ assistance from etta cetera & Ben Opie

- 1/2" reel vaudeo -> 1/2" VHS cassette & 35mm stills & mini-DV -> DVD

- 1:26:00

- '81 / '97 / '05 / etc..

Otherzine issue 17 article


I edited this in iMovie, the app that came with the computer, which enabled me to edit in microseconds, frame-by-frame, allowing me to be extremely meticulous. The program was woefully inadequate for this obsessive detail & kept crashing as I worked on the project as much as 18 hours a day for 6 months. It wasn't uncommon for me to fall asleep while something rendered, to wake up an hour or 2 later to work a little more on it, to fall back asleep while it rendered, etc..

I screened the movie something like 5 times in 2005 in Pittsburgh, Toronto, Raleigh, & BalTimOre where it was received with an astonishing amount of enthusiasm & intelligent reviews considering the density & difficulty of it.

Because there was so much frame-by-frame editing, it occurred to me that if a person could move through the movie one frame at a time they could also read it as a book (albeit missing the also very dense soundtrack). With that in mind, I listed it as one of my books online on Goodreads & reviewed it briefly:


0475. a review of The Ballooning One, tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE's "Story of a Fructiferous Society"

- credited to: tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

- published on Goodreads on January 17, 2008

- https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/12795100


As a side-effect of the Toronto screening, I was asked to write an article about the movie for a Canadian book to be entitled something like "Excesses & Extremes" which I was very excited to be in. For reasons unknown to me, the editor(s) ceased communicating with me & changed the nature of the book & I was excluded from it. The article was then published online instead in Otherzine thanks to Monty Cantsin. The URL for the Otherzine archives has changed at least once since this publishing so I'm not totally sure this URL is still good but I have updated it at least once.


1106. "Story of a Fructiferous Society, IT BEARS FRUIT IN (Y)OUR MIND - an extremely brief explanation from The Ballooning One"

- credited to both: tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE & The Ballooning One

- published in OTHERZINE issue 17 (Fall, 2009)

- http://www.othercinema.com/otherzine/archives/index.php?issueid=22&article_id=96

- published at the invitation of: Monty Cantsin


See this movie that I later made about this Monty Cantsin when he visited me in Pittsburgh in November, 2015:


435. a. "Monty Cantsin Rides Again" (Internet Archive version)

- made in honor of a visit from Monty Cantsin to Pittsburgh from November 6 - November 14, 2015

- edit finished December 19, 2015

- 1:56:49

- on the Internet Archive here: https://archive.org/details/MontyCantsinRidesAgain

b. "Monty Cantsin Rides Again" (interestingly defective version)

- intended to be the same as the above but due to computer malfunctions soundtrack portions repeat in accompaniment to non-synced visuals - because the results are somewhat interesting I decided to keep this version


c. "Monty Cantsin Rides Again" (DVD version)

- An attempt was made to correct all the artifacts of the previous defective version which required some slight re-editing

- 1:56:43


For the "Story of a Fructiferous Society" movie/book etta & I re-enacted the original performance - this time in English instead of Magyar. Here are some of the stills from that:



- tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE note, March 31, 2018E.V.








idioideo at verizon dot net


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