The title of my contribution - an assemblage from/of Jean-Luc Nancy's quote that sits atop this blog - was an attempt to think how bringing together a selection of images produced within the last four years might fit thematically both within the context of the journal and on their own. That decision (all matters of disingenuousness aside)resulted from concerns which have preoccupied me for nearly a decade. In any case, it would refer less to Hegel or Nancy (the latter's work having only recently been a part of my investigations) than it was thought as something suggestive of those strange movements one might find in the work of Blanchot (whose writing is no, er, stranger to dread, horror...), and that folded back on my own interest in exploring the oppositions and correspondence between drawing and that fragmentary, 'insane game' of writing. But...Nancy and Blanchot both having their own curious relation to Husserl, and my own thought having a curious relation to both Nancy and Balnchot, the decision by Robin to pair my work with Harman's should surely succeed in their 'creating unanticipated connections and adding new dimensions to one another'. Of course, I have never imagined my work to be an 'illustration' of theory, or Philosophical concepts, but - pace Deleuze - they share the same shadow, as it were.
From Urbanomic's website:
Collapse Volume IV: 'Concept Horror' is an investigation into the philosophical, existential, aesthetic, religious and political dimensions of horror. Its task is not to promote theories of horror, but to uncover the horrors that may lie in wait for those who pursue rational thought beyond the bounds of the reasonable.
The volume brings to fruition Collapse's vision of a miscegenated text in which contributions interact and produce a series of interzones or objectively-collaborative spaces. Throughout the volume many different styles of philosophical texts and graphic works intermingle, creating unanticipated connections and adding new dimensions to one another.
George Sieg's Infinite Regress into Self-Referential Horror demonstrates the simultaneously cognitive, existential and political nature of Horror, through a conceptual investigation of victimhood.
In weird fiction author Thomas Ligotti's own contribution to the volume, he takes up the work of obscure Norwegian philosopher Peter Zapffe, among others, to take an unflinching journey into the depths of nihilism...
...As a counterpoint to Ligotti's deflation of human hubris, Ukrainian Oleg Kulik, a prominent contemporary artist known for his disturbing investigations into the borders between life and death, human and animal, contributes his photographic series 'Dead Monkeys'.
Eugene Thacker's Nine Disputations on Theology and Horror gives a detailed and penetrating account of the 'teratological noosphere', discussing the ontologies of horror from Aristotle to Lovecraft.
Novelist Michel Houellebecq is well-known for his ability to evoke the horror that dwells within the banalities of contemporary life. His poems, of which a selection are translated into English here for the first time, distil his powerful vision into translucid moments of dread.
Jake Chapman, half of the notorious Brothers Grim of the British artworld, who unveil their infernal new work Fucking Hell in London next month, contributes a set of etchings created exclusively for Collapse in response to the other contributions in the volume.
Quentin Meillassoux's work is familiar to our readers. In the third of a 'trilogy' of essays published in Collapse, Spectral Dilemma, Meillassoux reveals some of the ethical consequences of his deduction of the 'necessity of contingency', through an examination of the problem of 'infinite mourning' for the dead.
Kristen Alvanson's photographs, at once repellent and fascinating, of preserved specimens of deformed and mutated animals and humans, are accompanied by a text which discusses Paré's sixteenth-century treatise which makes of taxonomy itself something monstrous.
German artist Todosch's (Thorsten Schlopsnies) meticulous sketches seem to depict varieties of heterogenous slime in the process either of disintegration or coagulation...
...A perfect companion to Iain Hamilton Grant's Being and Slime. This untimely excavation of the naturephilosophische work of Lorenz Oken - according to whom the generation of the universe from a 'primal zero' corresponds to its coagulation from a 'primaeval mucus' - puts an entirely new slant on Badiou's notion of 'founding on the void'.
Benjamin Noys meditates on Lovecraft and the real, revealing that the most abyssal of Horrors is Horror Temporis.
In Thinking with Nigredo, Reza Negarestani shows how Aristotle and Plotinus both unlock and dissimulate the ontological mechanism expressed by an unspeakable form of Etruscan torture.
A rising star, Canadian artist Steven Shearer, contributes a new series of his Poems - striking graphical pieces created through a manipulation of the nihilistic and extreme titles and lyrics of death-metal bands.
China Miéville, better known for his bestselling weird fiction novels, writes on M.R.James and the Quantum Vampire, introducing us to a new fearsome creature from his arsenal, the Skulltopus!
Czech art collective Rafani present their cycle Czech Forest, an adaptation of folk-tale imagery which presents a very modern tale of warcrime and revenge from the end of WWII.
Graham Harman returns to Collapse with On the Horror of Phenomenology: Lovecraft and Husserl. In a polemical defence of 'weird realism', Harman demonstrates that philosophical thought has more in common with weird and horror fiction than it might like to admit...
...Singular Agitations and a Common Vertigo, Keith Tilford's series of images, deftly disintegrated objects with more than a hint of 'pulp', anticipate and shadow Harman's invocation of the weird inner life of objects.
Collapse Volume IV // Ed. R. Mackay // May 2008 // 330pp[TBC] // ISBN 978-0-9553087-3-4 // £9.99