We wanted a place to record what we do outside of normal daylight hours – when the rules of work and the usual strictures of academic writing are relaxed; a place to write and think about what we see only obscurely or not at all. At night, the relationship between the sensible and the real is different: a dimly-glimpsed contour, the shifting of a shade, the echo of a movement, may be a sign of something present and important, whose full significance is waiting to emerge, or it may be the effect of something trivial, a passer-by whose true influence on us we will never really learn; it may be something, or it may be nothing at all – a trick of the darkness.
The thing is, it is difficult to see what you’re doing in the dark. There are benefits: you no longer feel the same pressure to pretend to know what you are working on, or to be able to see and say clearly where you’re going. But the danger is that when you wake up in the morning you find that you are left with nothing but pages of gibberish. Lewis Carroll invented his nyctograph as a means of helping him write down his night-thoughts without having to turn on the light – without having to return fully to the realm of consciousness; we have created Nyx, a noctournal with the same purpose in mind.
Nyx has been produced by people associated with the Centre for Cultural Studies as a forum for sharing our ideas, thoughts and intuitions about art, culture, politics, media, philosophy, and anything else. Though it emerges from an academic setting, and borrows something of the shape and function of an academic journal, it attempts to relax the rules of what may be considered relevant, and of how well one ought to know what one writes or thinks about. Nyx is open to everything, from high theory to comics, photographs and other images; from poetry and fiction to reviews and discussions of political demonstrations, books, or the opening of a local supermarket. We invite submissions from anyone on anything.
- James Burton and Hermien Lankhorst