A Box of Orts

Box collecting my printed output for MA Applied Imagination, Central St. Martins,, 2010–12 — a cycle of speculative activity in imagined worlds in text and image. 

Text: Nicholas Jeeves
Design: Nicholas Jeeves
Typeface: Adobe Caslon Pro
Format: 260mm x 330mm






Adventures in Mythography


A study in four parts:

1: Euhemerus and History in Disguise
In which I look at the story of the Greek mythographer Euhemerus, and his thesis that all mythology is ‘history in disguise.’

2: Hermes Trismegistus and Euhemerism in Action
In which I look at the story of the Egyptian sage Thoth, to illustrate Euhemerus’ thesis. Thoth was a philosopher, theosiphist and purported magician aligned with the Roman god Hermes by ardent admirers.

3: The Euhemerus Experiment
In which I test the process of mythmaking, using participants who must describe an image of a supernatural being within a system of blind iteration.

4: Synthesis
In which I begin to synthesise the ideas in parts 1-3 so that I might construct more effective mythologies of my own.

Text: Nicholas Jeeves
Design: Nicholas Jeeves
Typeface: Times New Roman, Helvetica Neue
Format: 300mm x 410mm, 64pp
Print: Mono digital
Binding: Saddle stitched

[Download PDF here]



Little Worlds: An Introduction to The Murphy Table


“A man may, if he pleases, invent a little world of his own, with its own laws.”
(George Macdonald, ‘A Dish of Orts: Chiefly Papers on the Imagination, and on Shakespeare’, 1893)

The Murphy Table is an attempt to broadly identify the spaces between deceit and conceit in storytelling: between what is explicit and what is implicit; what is manifestly ‘false’ and what can be understood to be ‘true’; the games people play in the shadows between these ideals; and the welcomes they are likely to receive.
    The table begins with the explicit nature of non-fiction and moves through six types of ‘murphy’ before reaching the implicit nature of fiction:

    Non-fiction
    ↓
    A-Type Murphy: An explicit deception primarily motivated by the agent’s desire for financial or personal gain. (Presents as believable, but a con.)
    ↓
    B-Type Murphy: An explicit deception primarily motivated by the agent’s psychopathology. (Presents as believable, but a fantasy.)
   ↓
    C-Type Murphy: A deception by inference and implication, informally acknowledged by the agent. (Presents as believable, but contains subtle clues placed by the agent for discovery.)
    ↓
    D-Type Murphy: A conceit by inference and implication, formally acknowledged by the agent. (Presents as believable, but is self-evidently an entertainment.)
    ↓
    E-Type Murphy: An acknowledged conceit, supported by credible evidence, but defined by implicit artistic or literary context. (Presents as believable, but positioned as a fiction.)
    ↓
    F-Type Murphy: An acknowledged conceit supported by incredible evidence but defined by implicit artistic or literary context. (Presents as believable, but can only be a fiction.)
    ↓
    Fiction

Text: Nicholas Jeeves
Design: Nicholas Jeeves
Typeface: Balloon, Monotype Dante
Format: 300mm x 410mm, 64pp
Print: Mono digital
Binding: Saddle stitched

[Download PDF here]



George Razinsky’s HinduReich


C-Type Murphy: A deception by inference and implication, informally acknowledged by the agent. (Presents as believable, but contains subtle clues placed by the agent for discovery.)

    Idea:
The text being discussed, HinduReich, is a found book, a folio of 47 loose photographic plates (the remainder of a probable original count of 50), each showing a major figure from the last 1000 years and each with a bindi imposed on their forehead. Printed in Germany during the war, it proposes an alternative history of the last 1000 years in which Hinduism is the universal religion. The book has no provenance, and no record of either author or publisher exists.
    This document presents a formal photographic record and analysis of Hindureich in ten parts: Introduction; HinduReich; Discovery; Condition and Content; Analysis, First Part; Analysis, Second Part; Acknowledgments; Photographic Record; Appendix I; Appendix II.

    Note:
George Razinsky is not a true heteronym (see A Balkan State of Mind: On Heteronyms and Works of the Imagination). Nor is he a pseudonym. Instead he is a conjured spectre, a shadow from the time of the second world war known only by this one bizarre publication. Much like Books from The Roy Gold Collection, the work plays at being a formal record. But again it is a work of the imagination that calls into play a number of literary conceits. Both H.P. Lovecraft (The Call of Cthulhu’s Professor Angell papers) and Arthur Conan Doyle (The Horror of the Heights’ Joyce-Armstrong Fragment), among others, used the ‘found document’ conceit to conceptualise their works of fiction, employing a credible first-person narrative to describe an adventure that begins with a discovery. It is what Alfred Hitchcock called a MacGuffin, a plot device that exists solely to drive a narrative forward: a briefcase (Pulp Fiction); a valuable artefact (The Maltese Falcon); enemy plans (Star Wars). This document might be read, then, as a work of literary fiction that combines a visual and written narrative, and uses the conceits of non-fiction to its own advantage. (See also: Darcy Sarto; Books from The Roy Gold Collection.)

Text: Nicholas Jeeves
Design: Nicholas Jeeves
Typeface: Linotype Univers
Format: 300mm x 410mm, 64pp
Print: Mono digital
Binding: Saddle stitched



Darcy Sarto: Man of a Thousand Corpses


D-Type Murphy: A conceit by inference and implication, formally acknowledged by the agent. (Presents as believable, but is self-evidently an entertainment.)

    Idea:
Supposedly a library microfiche copy of Volume 8 of the Journal of South Croydon Arts and Literature Society, featuring an interview with the author Darcy Sarto.

    Note:
In 2003 The London Institute of ‘Pataphysics presented an extensive posthumous exhibition of the paintings and sculptures of Anthony Hancock.
    Hancock is one of my heroes. As an actor and performer, he played a television character (with which he shared a name — an early postmodern conceit) on BBC Television’s Hancock’s Half Hour.
    The LIP treated Hancock as if he were a real artist, but in this instance the character was that of Tony Hancock the artist from the 1961 movie The Rebel.
    Extending this ‘pataphysical world, Man of a Thousand Corpses takes the Macguffin of the book Lady Don’t Fall Backwards by Darcy Sarto, a prop from ‘The Missing Page’, a 1960 episode of BBC’s Hancock’s Half Hour, and presents an imaginary interview with the author himself in a local literary journal.

Text: Nicholas Jeeves
Design: Nicholas Jeeves
Typeface: Lydian, Caslon, Caxton
Format: 300mm x 410mm, 64pp
Print: Mono digital
Binding: Saddle stitched



Books from The Roy Gold Collection


E-Type Murphy: An acknowledged conceit, supported by credible evidence, but defined by implicit artistic or literary context. (Presents as believable, but positioned as a fiction.)

    Idea:
Roy Gold’s personal library in Cambridge contains over 30,000 volumes, almost all of the covers defaced by Roy in some way. Even into his last days he spent his evenings altering the covers with any materials that come to hand — paint, printed paper, pencil crayon, ballpoint pen. In this book Shea Gold, Roy’s son, selects a number of books from his father’s collection for the purpose of producing a part record of his works.

    Note:
Roy Gold was the first heteronym I created (see A Balkan State of Mind: On Heteronyms and Works of the Imagination). Roy grew from a dearly-held ideal of a maverick, massively intellectual and workshy professor, of the type now absent from much of academia. That he could be an aggressor — surly, confident, spiteful and romantic — and also such a careful and sympathetic defacer of his own books, appealed to me greatly: these are all aspects of me that, for whatever reason, I suppress, and thus admire greatly in others.

Text: Nicholas Jeeves
Design: Nicholas Jeeves
Typeface: Lucida Typewriter
Format: 300mm x 410mm, 64pp
Print: Mono digital
Binding: Saddle stitched

* This work was developed and later published in the ‘Conjectures’ section of The Public Domain Review, under the title ‘Remembering Roy Gold, Who Was Not Excessively Interested in Books’.



A Balkan State of Mind


A Balkan State of Mind takes the form of an interview with myself, explaining my practices and my use of heteronyms to create works of the imagination.

Text: Nicholas Jeeves
Design: Nicholas Jeeves
Typeface: Monotype Univers, Dante
Format: 300mm x 410mm, 64pp
Print: Mono digital
Binding: Saddle stitched

[Download PDF here]



System


System visualising my interest in various works of the imagination, for present and future consideration. Each work is represented as a sphere, spinning in perpetual orbit in my mind.
   Red spheres represent discovered works of the imagination. Gold spheres represent works of the imagination made by me, in response to the exertions of the red spheres. Pink spheres represent possible exits — portals to new ways of thinking and working.

Text: Nicholas Jeeves
Design: Nicholas Jeeves
Format: 300mm x 410mm, 64pp
Print: Colour digital

[Download PDF here]