Sterile Dogma

Book Design

This book is a printed translation of my Bachelor graduation thesis in the Graphic Design department at the Royal Academy of Arts in The Hague(KABK).

Today we are living in the world where fear and doubt are being condemned to the ever-lasting flight down the void. This becomes a reason for us to start denouncing other crucial parts of our lives as non-important ones or as those that are reinforcing fears and insecurities in favour of artificial shelter made of all that successful compensating and striving of today. I see such escapism as an eminently important issue that can have poor fallout for our civilisation’s present and thus - future. This is why I am interested in the topic of nocturnal culture and how dark aesthetics (especially the black image) and in general exposure to fear and dark concepts can influence our cognition and evolution. I strongly believe that such strategy can evoke higher modes of both self and general analysis and bring out the natural curiosity in humans and ability of interpretation, that are now unfortunately put into lethargic sleep.

I seek to re-invigorate a sense of wonder, uncertainty and mystery in life by implementing and emphasising the dark colors, magic, questions with no answers, and night. In order to do so, I want to look into history of how and if various parts of Nocturnal Culture were influencing human evolution. And if they had an effect on individuals or masses (both positive and negative) in order to find proving arguments for my belief and be able to present it to our society which is drowning in “positive living bullet journals” and “books of everyday gratefulness” instead of simply turning of the lights and thinking. Along with that, topics of anthropology of fear, darkness and the psychological influence of them onto our cognition will be discussed, concluding with the influence nocturnal culture and esoterism had on the creation of contemporary art and visual culture. 

As a strategy I’ve chosen to go from the opposites by destroying the arguments opposing my hypothesis through attempts of defending them. Presented partly through the voice of the main text and partly in form of metaphor (through classic poetry) this paper is aiming to spark questioning of both sides and proving the absence of absolute. There can be no highest number, as there is only totality and there can be no final revolution as we exist. In such way this thesis is both: me finding artefacts of my beliefs and a manifesto to everything “Nocturnus”: of the night.

The full text and contents of the thesis are avaliable on the Thesis Webpage