A Picture of Nothing

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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.


P.E. Garcia is an Editor-at-Large for the Rumpus and a contributor to HTMLGiant. They currently live in Philadelphia, where they were recently accidentally elected to be Judge of Elections. Find them on Twitter: @AvantGarcia. More from this author →