What is it? An abyss beyond the fullness of being, a something which tugs at knowledge and stretches it in all directions beyond itself? Or is it a force for change in politics, art and psychology, an imageless fecundity, or a final statement of annihilation? Why does it seem everywhere to be a presence in a cyclical return, but everywhere different in its particular immanence, texture, ambience and meaning? We can polish its reflective surface into a self-image, or smudge it into anonymity.

This issue of Drain calls for an exploration of black as a superordinate concept, a natural kind, a material, a force, a virtual reality, a place of rest, a place of beginning, a fear, a celebration. Can it be seen as a container of becoming? How are informe, bassesse, the abject, the subconscious, parasitic upon it? What is its relationship to space, time and form? How does it equivocally bring together both painterly flatness and depth, an abyss and a fullness?

Black is social and silent, human and inhuman. It rests the eye, turning it upon itself in introspection, plunging the soul into loneliness, yet provides cover for hidden touches, chiasms and communications. It provides us with the space to breathe, and beckons us to leap into its freedom with reckless abandon. It dissolves subjectivity, yet brings it back. How do art, film, photography, painting, theatre and poetry depend on it, as well as science? What is this thing called black, and how can we turn it into productive thought and practice?


Feature Essay
Contagious Animism in the Artwork of Felix Gonzales-Torres and Dane Mitchell - Christopher Braddock

Feature Artist
Kevin Jerome Everson
Undefeated – Notes on the films of Kevin Jerome Everson - Emmanuel Burdeau

Towards a Digital Technology - Daniel Glendening
Being at a Loss:The Productive Possibilities of Darkness in Gary Hill’s Dervish (1993-95) - Megan Toye

Thought Experiments
The Black Singularity - Vincent Como
The Work of Black – Amy Stewart

HOSANNA! - Victoria Wynne-Jones
Carbon 12: Art and Climate Change, Cape Farewell - Celina Jeffery
Smoke and Clouds; Zoe Leonard’s 1961, 2002-Ongoing Suitcases through the lens of Rosalind Krauss’s “The /Cloud/.” - Kate Rosenheim

The Science of Letting Go. An interview with Seana Reilly - Casey Lynch
Interview with Jenene Nagy - Avantika Bawa

Creative Writing
Dhaka and Dirty Dialectics: A Nocturnal Prose Poem in Seven Microcantos - Azfar Hussain
Brown Boy, Red Ghost - Vanessa Norton

Feature Show
Black Manifold - Curated  by Avantika Bawa and Greg Minissale

Art Projects
Romance in Black - Christopher Carroll
Concerning ‘Carbon Traces’ - Patrick Kelly
White Noise - Bethany Collins
Untitled (syncope) -  Pat Boas
Back Through Black - Marcy Hermansader
After the Fall - Garrick Imatani
In Trying Times, Don’t Quit Trying - Adam Williams

 This issue was edited by Avantika Bawa and Greg Minissale
Icon image -  Film still from Second and Lee, Kevin Jerome Everson, 2008, 3:00, 16mm, B&W
                                                                           Black - Vol. 8, No. 1, 2013