For the image to work…the viewer must not see the image for what it is – a black square. The viewer must understand the square as formlessness, and the black inside as neither a fullness nor an emptiness. This simple little image requires a lot of work on the part of the viewer…For a synthetic, systematic thinker like Fludd, this must have been a difficult move. After all, The Metaphysical, Physical, and Technical History is, if nothing else, a totalising work, and work whose ambition is to include and to account for everything – even nothing.
For the Public Domain Review, Eugene Thacker examines how artists, philosophers, and writers have tried to represent nothingness.