Tuesday, 28 February 2012


For this dissertation module I will be trying to find the answer to the question; what is the void and how can it be explored as a concept in narrative? 

What I understand from this title is that the void is nothing though still a setting where a story can go on.

The outcomes of this dissertation are an artifact that supports my answering of the question; to tie into my practice this artifact will be an illustrated story. The story continues on from the story of Edward Magpie and his ship the Stultifera Navis, which I created in the contextual module in my second year. This story in turn will be supported by research into the theory to answer the question more thoroughly and to understand what the void is. 

The research questions that I would like to answer are:

What is the void?

How can it be explored as a concept in narrative?

What is the uncanny?

This is an area of importance and interest for within my practice I am creating a selection of illustrations and zines/stories centered around the sea that I have entitled ‘Nautical Tails’.  The reason I like the setting of the sea is the fact that it is a void in itself, a surrounding where anything is possible and in some cases no one can prove other wise due to areas of the sea still being undiscovered, a hidden and mysterious world. I am motivated to choose this topic because I want to learn more on the theory of the void so that I can use it in future projects for I’d like to continue with the ‘Nautical Tails’ and also stories of the Stultifera Navis. 

The approach I have taken to research is to firstly look into the dictionary definitions to get an initial/general idea of what the void, the uncanny etc mean. I have then looked into other artists that I interpreted to have used the void as inspiration in their work. I have then looked into deeper theory at the same time as writing my artifact story, this method has been continued throughout this project. 
 The main theorists I researched for my written project were Gaston Bachelard whose book, 'The Poetics of Space' where, amongst other things, talks a lot about the void in a variety of different contexts and Nicholas Royle who explains the uncanny in his book 'The Uncanny: An Introduction'.


The topic I looked into was ‘the void’ and how it can be explored as a concept in narrative. This is an interesting area of research for me as through my degree I have been creating my own worlds where limitless possibilities can exist. Through my research I have established these limitless possibilities is the definition of 'the void'. My aim was firstly to understand what ‘the void’ is and what it means, with particular attention to how it is used within narrative. The methods I used to further my knowledge was through researching into the theory of 'the void' and also of 'the uncanny'. I then actively used this research to help me progress my ideas within a illustrated story, continuing on from my second year research project. This project was titled ‘Thee Voyage of the Stultifera Navis’ with a focus on the life of it’s captain Edward Magpie who wrote his diary about the adventure that he went on with crew to find enlightenment.
The key theorists I looked at was Bachelard's Poetics of Space (1994) to explore the void and Royle's The Uncanny: An Introduction (2003). The results and conclusion I made is that the void is limitless possibilities and can be used in a vast amount of ways within narrative. Through my artefact and the narrative I created, I believe I was able to fill the void.