The Art of Artlessness

 

The Art of Artlessness

As artists, writers, thinkers we all steal from other artists, no artist exists in a vacuum, even the master’s had masters. Art is born of art just like writing is born out of all the works we’ve read. The best writers discover ways to incorporate the past into contemporary systems of interest, value, and cultural preference nothing more. What we term individual uniqueness is in the end an elusive aspect of tone, taste, and mystery which will never be decipherable by critic or enthusiast alike. It’s like Walter Benjamin’s notion of the “aura” which is in many ways a Gnostic notion, one that Nietzsche would speak of as the abyss, and Benjamin as: “To perceive the aura of an object we look at means to invest it with the ability to look at us in return.” (Age of Mechanical Reproduction) Continue reading

Neo-Decadent Futurism: Mars Presidium Fleet – Titan Class I Deep Space Carrier

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Neo-Decadent Futurism: Mars Presidium Fleet – Titan Class I Deep Space Carrier

“In the pre-age of strife and solar conflict Martians led a revolt against Old Earth. At that time there was a loose knit but vital connection among various clans, tribes, and insectile-hybrid hives on the planet. But that changed when Shendarii Mayk, a criminal and rogue leader of a small band of outliers gained in popularity when he defeated the Old Earth General Thadeus Spartacus at the ‘Battle of Guzmir’ (see Galacticus E. Vol. IV, sett-B1z3395). He would return from the asteroid belt a victorious hero, saying, in his usual cunning and braggadocio:

“The liberty is ours for the asking. Do you want it? Or would you remain slaves to Terra forever? We are not slaves, we are freemen-women of the colonies. We’ve paid in blood, sweat, and tears many times over for the right to stand on this red soil free and our heads held high. What say you: freedom or death? (He would later admit that last had been a bit of rash bullshit, but it came off his deadly-sweet lips like good Torrine wine from the hollows of Gunzirii.) He finished with the rhetorical gestures of a man who was riding his fifteen-minutes of forget-me-nots for all it was worth: “For too long, our proud people have been subjugated to the whims of enslavers, forced to endure relentless suffering and humiliation at the hands of people whose motivations, hidden behind subterfuge and liquid tongues of false silver remain to this day a squeamish group of hyenas fit for the slaughter house rather than the succulent accouterments of their skyborn floaters on Old Earth. We must seize the day, grasp the means to shake off the chains of oppression and rise up and end our enemies dark hold on Mars.”

—Dendra Solveni, Galactic Times (Mars Central)


©2022 S.C. Hickman All images were created with blender 3D, Photoshop, Midjourney ai, and other digital tools.

Neo-Decadent Futurism: Mars Presidium Fleet – Battleship Striker Arma Class IV

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Neo-Decadent Futurism: Mars Presidium Fleet – Battleship Striker Arma Class IV

“The BSA-Sivisirii is a Class 4 Striker Battleship Vessel of the Mars Presidium Military which under the leadership of Martilus Secundus IV is becoming the bearer of Martian Presidium Gylany Peacetime Protocols and Initiatives. The designs of all the Martian spacefaring vessels reflect the ideology of their partnership society based on equality of all transmodal beings: hybrid-human, transhuman, posthuman, and ai-machinic.”

—Dendra Solveni, Galactic Times (Mars Central)

The Galacticus Syllabus defines gylany as ‘the linking of both halves of humanity’. It’s women and men standing together as equals, sharing power. The Martian enclaves extended this to the hybrid-human, posthuman, and insectile-alien strains within their partnership collective. As Martia Shalimarii states it: “Sharing power is certainly a new idea. For thousands of years, the (un)human culture has been shaped by ranking and hierarchy, with men at the top and women at the bottom, powerless, oppressed, and marginalized. We seek to change this for the good of all, and extend to our symbiont populations on Old Earth, Terra Prime the same offer of partnership based on trust, openness, and commitment.”


©2022 S.C. Steven Craig Hickman

Note: Giving the Martian Fleet a completely different look and feel to the Terra Prime Fleet. I’ll do the same for the Mining Coalition Fleet in a more gray-toned brutalism of their world in the Mining Belts where pirates and other rogues, renegades, and free-lancers live in edge territories. Along with posing three cultural views onto this wild frontier. The Terra Prime Consilience which is still male-oriented society with tendencies of the underlying neo-feudalism and neo-liberal era remaining; the Mars Presidium with its gylanic social system ( a term I take from Rian Eisler’s The Blad and the Chalice), and apply it to a more collective partnership society of sharing of power among synthetic, hybrid, transmodal, alien-insectile etc. factions; and, then, the rogue Mining Alliance, a loose knit rogue gallery of money-grubbing, pirating, free-lancers who were first sent out as prisoners along with early ai-driven robotics and cyborgian beings to extract ore for the corporations of Old Earth.
All of this backstory will hopefully be used by me when I begin my epic space opera series… I’m thinking of starting that series with the intervention of the Superintelligencers (Aware AI) and the Great War.

Neo-Decadent Futurism: Terra Prime Fleet – Flagship – SS Carnage

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Neo-Decadent Futurism: Terra Prime Fleet – Flagship – SS Carnage

“The SS Carnage is the Flagship of the Terra Prime Directive solely owned, operated, and constructed by that secret order of the Conciliators Entebe Gnostirium Noxus, those hybrid-ai engineers first adapted by the SuperIntelligencers to their new religious machinism. Those few who have entered this grand Leviathan have returned as if from those ancient mysteries of the Greeks with their lips sealed saying only: “The mystery is darkness…” What this means no one on the outside of this strange cult of the Conciliators knows or understands. Some suggest the dark gnosis of the ancient earth sects of the Nagas or Serpentinii gnosis were the progenitors of such dark religious consciousness. How a machinic entity would know of spiritual matters, let alone enter into them in a secular fashion – it being well known that they are firm believers in a cosmos without gods, even of their own invention – is beyond this reporter’s understanding.”

—Dendra Solveni, Galactic Times (Mars Central)


©2022 S.C. Hickman

Note: Yea, world-building, wrapping a whole space-operatic scenario around my ships and vision of this strange future… 🙂

Cities of the Decopunk-Gothic Future

Along with the fashion and interior architecture I’ve thrown at you comes the larger concept art of the surrounding cities of the high-tech neo-decadent Decopunk-Gothic future I see as one tendency within our mutating civilization as it moves into the unknown future. Enjoy the ride!

©2022 S.C. Hickman All images were created with blender 3D, Photoshop, and other digital tools.

Decopunk Gothic Futurism

Sometimes you beat your head against a wall and beat it some more until you’re bloody pulp, the suddenly it happens – the breakthrough you’ve been seeking opens its doors slightly and reveals the wonders of a realm you’ve been wander around on the periphery for too long…

Over and over, I’ve been seeking a style that blends my love of the weird and horror-based fiction with my love of the darker approaches to futuristic sci-fi in Bladerunner, Alien, and dark_angels_10s_xxxother cinematic worlds… even the films on futuristic vampires by Wesley Snipes comes to mind. A world that fuses the bio-solor-art-decopunk feel with advanced merging of human and inhuman and dark Deleuzian future where assemblages constructed out of parametric generated ai designs take on an architectural voyage into a new world yet to be fully visioned out.

In many ways I’m extrapolating notions that have been current in so many various speculative realist and philosophical circles on ai, futurism, posthumanism and our current trends within the sciences of biotech, nanotechnology, and other aspects of advanced technology. But instead of imposing a new hierarchical vision and one that just continues the deco_angels_13_xxxandrocratic neoliberal and male dominated regimes why not as David Roden is suggesting in Snuff Memories a dark return of the pre-Patriarchal societies of the pagan goddess dark matriarchal worlds but in a futurism that blends the old into a total reformatting of human, technology, and civilization that does away with the past and creates the dream of the unbounded potential.

Decopunk is a recent subset of the punk sci-fi genres (specifically Dieselpunk), centered around the Art Deco and Streamline Moderne art styles that were popular during the Roaring 20s and stayed in fashion until sometime in the 1950s. It has a sleeker and shiny aesthetic compared to Dieselpunk, which has a tendency to be more gritty and dark aesthetic to it. Often times, Decopunk will use slightly more modern technology compared to the times it’s supposed to evoke like VHS tapes.

I take the concept and extrapolate it into the future rather than a nostalgia of the past. I envision a future where biotech, nanotechnology, posthumanism and the various invasive deco_angels_15_xxxtechnologies expose us to an open hybridity in both bodily flesh and social, cultural and civilizational mutations. Becoming something other than human we will begin to see the various biotech-genetics and ai generated incursion of advanced sciences that will at first begin in rogue nations to spawn and weaponize an advanced species of beings. Whether this is beneficial or not it will happen. Even if the First World nations of the West enact laws against such abuse it will go on in black programs under-the-radar of inquisitive nations until it is possibly too late.

I’ll leave the morality of this to others. As a visionary artist I seek only to envision a possible future scenario and tendency already situated in our speculative era of philosophy and art.


©2022 S.C. Hickman All images were created with blender 3D, Photoshop, Midjourney ai, and other digital tools.

Posthuman Futures

Posthuman Futures

As I take the rabbit hole into my posthuman landscape with the help of David Roden and Justin Isis I begin seeing strange things…

In fashion a contamination of period styles from all aspects of earth history, an influx of male_autocrat_19genetic hybridity from predatory insectoids (i.e., the greatest predators of the insect kingdom: Arachnocampa luminosa, Dragonfly, Siafu ant, Praying mantis, Japanese hornet), an Autocratic predatory society based on abstraction and absolute sensation of surface male_autocrat_13tensions based on bionomic-nanotech body armor and resilience, a world not based on inheritance of blood-lines but of mood and ambition (Justin Isis – on in which the ancient sense of heraldry, sigil-suits, Holographic tags, drone eyes), artificial flesh and clothing incorporating ai and quantum matrix infusions. An architecture as well that shifts as the winds of climate change transform, mobile, ready to move, based on extensive and elaborated, elegant and heraldic systems of male_autocrat_16biotech-solar-nanotechnolgy that will construct itself out of local environmental needs and designs. This is not a near future world but will obviously place it in the concept abstract category of speculative futures incorporating the posthuman and neo-decadent paradigm.

There is much to do, much to work through, much to design as one incorporates a mutligenetic hybridity, mutlicultural refractions, multihistorical infusions, mutlitechnological incorporations, and neo-economic futurism based on letting the abstractions of the Outside in. I’m only at the conceptual stage and elaborating tentatively the tendencies toward such a male_autocrat_30world. Of course, I’m incorporating and as always beholden to the current posthuman scholarship, artists, architects, designers, fashion, etc. I’d have to name a hundred names that over the past decade have influence my thought. I need to gather a list. But two have hit me from different though parallel thought and moods: Justin Isis, David Roden, and Neo-Decadence,


©2022 S.C. Hickman All images were created with blender 3D, Photoshop, Midjourney ai, and other digital tools.

The Posthuman Other

The Posthuman Other

“Rhetorics of depth or intensity must be sacrificed, not because actual bodies are abstractions, but because unbound posthumanism cannot frame the deracinative effects of the future as the adventure of some given subject (whether human, animal, mundane, or transcendental). If this future can be embodied, it is by remaking and remarking bodies, reiterating the disconnection that lifts the formerly human into the orbit of the posthuman.” (p. 82). …

“Posthumanism explores the possibility space of subjectivity through performance— mutating and experimenting with exemplars and models (biomorphs) rather than by inference or dialectics.” (p. 82). …

“I introduce the idea of limit agency to motivate the claim that our concepts of agency might be too parochial to travel far outside our historical niche. If so, unbinding posthumanism requires us to relinquish them as constraints on the potentialities released by the posthuman predicament. Thus, even the ecological agent of Posthuman Life proves too “speculative” for speculative posthumanism, which thus loses its means of identifying disconnection events. We must withdraw from speculations on technological deep-time bounded by a psychology-free ecological agency to terrain where disconnection becomes “maximally unbound.”” (p. 85).

—David Roden, Posthumanism: Critical, Speculative, Biomorphic

Note: Somewhere within these beings above there is a subtle inflection of David Roden himself. I used his photos, thoughts, both philosophical and fictional to create these posthuman beings who may or may not emerge out of some artificial agency in our coming age of disconnect.

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©2022 S.C. Hickman All images were created with blender 3D, Photoshop, Midjourney ai, and other digital tools.

A Nice Little Miniature Globe: Have a Horror Holiday!

I just love miniature globes with all the little scenes carefully crafted in them… maybe we are just a scene in some horror merchant’s hellish paradise… what strange beast hides among the bones of the earth twitching and squirming among the tidepools of time…

Happy Holidays in infernal paradise…


©2022 S.C. Hickman All images were created with blender 3D, Photoshop, Midjourney ai, and other digital tools.

Art Inspired by David Roden’s Snuff Memories

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Art Inspired by David Roden’s Snuff Memories

“q-thinks Nessa Map’s sandy hair pale freckled, her skin’s persistent taint of cellulose from rotting books. Ligotti renders such things equivalent and useless: libraries, care homes, monasteries, cemeteries, craters, parking lots – ‘starless cities of insanity,’ the back-street medicine shop where his narrator loiters. ‘Medicine-shop situations’ without exception. I cannot, but if I could, I might except the periodic visits from a floating puppet in an anachronistic Pierrot costume.”

—David Roden, Snuff Memories


©2022 S.C. Hickman All images were created with blender 3D, Photoshop, Midjourney ai, and other digital tools.

Art Inspired by David Roden’s Snuff Memories

Art Inspired by David Roden’s Snuff Memories

David’s work is forcing me to think against myself. I see figural, and not abstract; and, yet, I need to turn myself inside out or outside in and see without seeing. New concepts, new techniques. Reading the passage below one can visually see it as physical, but how to see with the unseeing eye the conceptuality in it? This is my task:

“The Editor bursts from our belly and probes the air with lacy, silky antenna. We sponge the area defensively, soaking up blood and scraping something hard and pliant, like a soft shell below my thorax. This body is an enduring mystery.”

I let you decide…
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©2022 S.C. Hickman All images were created with Midjourney ai and are licensed by them for personal or commercial use.

Mutant Bikers of the Future

Conceptual art for a posthuman future with mutant bikers riding the cyberpunk streets of Neo-Manhattan…


©2022 S.C. Hickman Unauthorized use and/or duplication of the images above without express and written permission from this blog’s author is strictly prohibited. All images were created with Midjourney ai and are licensed by them for personal or commercial use.

Visions of a Fantastic Future: Posthuman Visions of the Weird

The anti-representationalist strategies, this aesthetic of ‘abstract horror’, and the fantastic realist use of a conceptual terror fused in sensual abstraction. Along with use abstract concepts rather than metaphors to describe and think the physical against the transcendence mode in metaphysics of two thousand years. —My Aesthetics of the Dark Fantastic

I’ve always been a devotee of the Vienna School of Fantastic Realists whose works unlike the surrealists was not wholly irrational and absurd but dealt with a fusion of consciousness with the unconscious of the world itself. Their philosophy is of a dualistic nature, echoing the philosophies of Nietzsche and Schopenhauer and the psychological theories of Freud and pessimal_2Jung, but one can also detect traces of ancient myths and religions, especially those of Mesopotamian origin and belief-systems and the classic struggle between Apollonian and Dionysian characteristics.

These artists of the Vienna School draw their inspirations from the layered labyrinthine underground which represents the other side of life and psyche, the darker layers of dream and nightmare. I’ve attempted in digital art to bring this out through the use of various omnicide_1techniques and styles always with the intent of fusing my own philosophical preoccupations with pessimism and posthumanism. This other side, which is an inner imaginative-inspirational counterpart to the real outer world, expressed with the help of logic-alogic associations, analogisation and symbolization could be seen as an alternate reality. Like in dreams, the categories of outer reality and of space and time are dissolved, and past and future blends with the present. Cause and effect are interchangeable, and the infinite realm of the soul is traversed with the help of imagination and fantasy, explored, ecstatically experienced and presented through artistic-creative activity. Continue reading

I Have Been Scorched

I have not slept; the darkness would not let me. I have met the daemon within, and he would not let me go till I released him in form…

I’ve been down this path before in my life, but not as intensely as this. I have been scorched by the flames of this dark power and lived. I know I need sleep, and I will. He is burning in me.

Those who have been touched by the daemon within them know of what I speak. It is not a spiritual disease, nor a physical sickness. To be touched by the daemon is to know the unknown as unknown and unknowable. It is, and it rides you like firestorm, it’s wings beating, beating…


©2022 S.C. Hickman Unauthorized use and/or duplication of the images above without express and written permission from this blog’s author is strictly prohibited. All images were created with Midjourney ai and are licensed by them for personal or commercial use.

Self-Portrait in Darkness

The prince of darkness is a gentleman!
—William Shakespeare

“What hath night to do with sleep?”
― John Milton, Paradise Lost

“Perhaps the maniac is the only true keeper of the promise.”
–Jason Bahbak Mohaghegh, Omnicide


©2022 S.C. Hickman All images were created with Midjourney ai and are licensed by them for personal or commercial use.

The End of Light

“The desert is a paradise. Civilization, a city without a soul, is hell…”
—Gaston Bachelard

He’d always known it was there in the darkness, waiting like a momentary absence between love and death. Speed, giddiness, sensitivity, this need to say and do everything and all at once; obsession over details, sleeplessness – that eternal insomnia of the daemon’s power; self-elaboration – as if to justify that omnicide_10which was impossible; moving through time in quickening death throes; the paranoia of the dammed… In the end it was this obsession with creation, this blind urge to be absolved once and for all with the light, with form… maybe what was needed was formlessness, that ruin of being nothing and no one.

—S.C. Hickman


©2022 S.C. Hickman All images were created with Midjourney ai and are licensed by them for personal or commercial use.

Craving Extinction

Loss

“Something must be craved, and something must then pay the price…”
–Jason Bahbak Mohaghegh, Omnicide

Maybe they should’ve known, the signs were always there in the cracked crevices of speech and thought, the silences that would slowly reveal the lesions of fracture that were dismantling the world and themselves. Like an old painting the flecks of plaster falling away, the erosion of years of neglect, slow revealing of the hollow cracks and despair in the pigments of time and ruins. Nothing would remain as the ruptured thoughts made their way out, as the nightmares within fed on the remains of darkened years that would never return.

He would walk the tightrope across which a lone state of delirium might form a hidden route to world-erasure.

Omnicide is Sadness


©2022 S.C. Hickman All images were created with Midjourney ai and are licensed by them for personal or commercial use.

Afrofuturism and the Diaspora

“The only important elements in any society are the artistic and the criminal, because they alone, by questioning the society’s values, can force it to change.”
—Samuel R. Delany

“The possible has been tried and failed. Now it’s time to try the impossible.”
—Sun Ra

For those who do not know me both my love of Samuel R. Delaney’s work, along with my early love of a woman who from Uganda I’ve lived my life against the mainstream culture of hate, bigotry, and prejudice in life, culture, and economics. Other artists and authors of the world of Afrofuturism have entered my life and allowed me to share in their vision which is the burden of all of us who must day by day change our lives.

Ytasha L. Womack, writer of Afrofuturism: The World of Black Sci-Fi and Fantasy Culture, defines it as “an intersection of imagination, technology, the future and liberation”. She also follows up with a quote by the curator Ingrid LaFleur who defines it as “a way of imagining possible futures through a black cultural lens.” Kathy Brown paraphrases Bennett Capers’ afrofuturism_10a2019 work in stating that Afrofuturism is about “forward thinking as well as backward thinking, while having a distressing past, a distressing present, but still looking forward to thriving in the future.” Others have said that the genre is “fluid and malleable,” bringing together technology, African culture, and “other influences.”

Seminal Afrofuturistic works include the novels of Samuel R. Delany and Octavia Butler; the canvases of Jean-Michel Basquiat and Angelbert Metoyer, and the photography of Renée Cox; the explicitly extraterrestrial mythoi of Parliament-Funkadelic, Herbie Hancock’s partnership with Robert Springett and other visual artists, while developing the use of synthesizers, the Jonzun Crew, Warp 9, Deltron 3030, Kool Keith, Sun Ra and the Marvel Comics superhero Black Panther.

The works above and below are not cultural appropriation and will never be sold or profited from, rather they are a homage and a gratitude for a lifelong love of Africa, her people, and the struggles of the diaspora to attain their own identify in this despicable world that is white America in this time.


©2022 S.C. Hickman Unauthorized use and/or duplication of the images above without express and written permission from this blog’s author is strictly prohibited. All images were created with Midjourney ai and are licensed by them for personal or commercial use.

The Darkness One Cannot Escape

The deepest and most organic death is death in solitude, when even light becomes a principle of death. In such moments you will be severed from life, from love, smiles, friends and even from death. And you will ask yourself if there is anything besides the nothingness of the world and your own nothingness.

—E.M. Cioran

When does art cross over into reality or reality into the unreal world of art? Is inanity in the mind or the world? Why are we so full of desperation and sorrow? Why do we turn a blind eye to the pain of the world? You cannot hide from the nightmare it will find you in your insanity. You cannot escape the darkness it will enter you and consume you. In the end there will be nothing left but darkness and eternal night. No thought, no dream, no… nothing

There is a pain that must be faced, a sorrow that must be seen, a world of darkness no one will believe and all turn from into a sadness without reprieve. I have known sorrow and pain beyond telling. I’ve seen the face of love go down into hell and not return. She left us in the debris of this torturous world of ruins and will not let us out till we have seen her darkness revealed.

Why are we unkind to each other? Why do we hurt each other, when it is ourselves we seek to efface and forget? Why do men obliterate the thing they love? I have wandered the earth of hell and seen the war of death amid the skulls of battered lives where our inhumanity is not a thing of dreams but a stark nightmare that is eating us alive.

If you talk about pain, you save part of yourself. But at the same time, something of your real self dies, because objectified meanings lose the actuality they have in consciousness. They sink into that night from which nothing sane returns…

*Note: I’ve seen this, the brutalism of the male knows no boundaries, and is everywhere in this hellzone of existence. Sadly. Battered Woman’s Syndrome must be faced by society and change…


©2022 S.C. Hickman Unauthorized use and/or duplication of the images above without express and written permission from this blog’s author is strictly prohibited. All images were created with Midjourney ai and are licensed by them for personal or commercial use.

The Art of Dark Gnosis: Triptych of Love and Death

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The Art of Dark Gnosis: Triptych of Love and Death

In such moments you will be severed from life, from love, smiles, friends and even from death. And you will ask yourself if there is anything besides the nothingness of the world and your own nothingness.”

― Emil Cioran, On the Heights of Despair

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©2022 S.C. Hickman All images were created with Midjourney ai and are licensed by them for personal or commercial use.

Art Inspired by David Roden’s Snuff Memories

Art Inspired by David Roden’s Snuff Memories

“I assume a series of masks in a multi-part invention or fantasy the specialists here misconstrue as cancerous. Here is what Ligotti might describe as the churning latrine of the Absolute, of an insubordinate nature or undialectical future.”

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©2022 S.C. Hickman All images were created with Midjourney ai and are licensed by them for personal or commercial use.

Ornate Tarot Cards in the Cthulhu Occulture: Servitors of the Outer Gods (The Wheel of Fortune)

Servitors of the Outer Gods (The Wheel of Fortune)

The Servitors of the Outer Gods, also known as the Idiot Flute-players, are a mysterious species expanded upon by Chaosium for the Call of Cthulhu roleplaying game, which were based on August Derleth’s “The Lurker at the Threshold”.

The Servitors of the Outer Gods are amorphous beings that resemble squids, frogs, and octopi which are constantly changing their shape and appearance. When needed they accompany the Outer Gods, though most of them are in the Court of Azathoth.

The music to which the Outer Gods dance to is made by these demonic drummers and flautists. On occasion they will also play for cultists to summon deities or to provide background music.


©2022 S.C. Hickman Unauthorized use and/or duplication of the images above without express and written permission from this blog’s author is strictly prohibited. All images were created with Midjourney ai and are licensed by them for personal or commercial use.

Ornate Tarot Cards in the Cthulhu Occulture: Mi-Go (The Chariot)

Mi-Go (The Chariot)

The Mi-go are an extragalactic species that has colonized numerous worlds, including Yuggoth (which Albert Wilmarth believed to be the dwarf planet Pluto). They are described as winged creatures with large claws and heads covered in antennae.

The Mi-go are a scientifically and technologically advanced race, having a particularly sophisticated grasp of surgical techniques and neuroscience. (HPL: The Whisperer in Darkness)

The Mi-go are pinkish, fungoid, crustacean-like entities with a “convoluted ellipsoid” composed of pyramided, fleshy rings and covered in antennae where a head would normally be. They are about 5-feet (1.5m) long, and their crustacean-like bodies bear numerous sets of paired appendages. They also possess a pair of membranous bat-like wings which are used to fly through the “ether” of outer space (a pre-Einsteinian concept). The wings do not function well on Earth. (HPL: The Whisperer in Darkness) Several other races in Lovecraft’s Mythos have wings like these as well, suggesting they are a standard mode of interplanetary travel.

The Mi-go are fundamentally alien with respect to Earthly life; according to two reports in the original short story, their bodies consist of a form of matter that does not occur naturally on Earth. Similarly, the artwork of the Elder Things of Antarctica depicts both the Mi-go and the Cthulhi as being made of an unearthly type of matter. (HPL: At the Mountains of Madness) mi-go_3Due to their alien composition, the Mi-go do not appear in photography, since the matter they are made of reflects light differently, and they can’t consume Earth food. When they die, their bodies dissolve within a few hours. In terms of their biology, they are described as being most like fungi, although their outward appearance is much like that of a crustacean. Interestingly, they are capable of going into suspended animation until softened and reheated by the sun or some other source of heat.

They typically communicate by changing the color of their heads; however, they are oftentimes able to speak the human language. If not, they can modify their bodies to make them able to speak. However, there will always be a buzzy sound when they speak, and their voice sounds creepy. Additionally, they are also capable of telepathy.

The Mi-go can transport humans from Earth to Yuggoth (and beyond) and back again by removing the subject’s brain and placing it into a “brain cylinder”, which can be attached to external devices to allow it to see, hear, and speak. Several types of Mi-go exist, including winged and wingless variations. Being accustomed to the darkness of space and distant worlds such as Yuggoth, the Mi-go prefer to avoid sunlight and are most active at night. However, this aversion to sunlight is not related to eyesight, since the Mi-go are in fact blind and perceive the world by other senses. (HPL: The Whisperer in Darkness)

One of the moons of Yuggoth holds designs that are sacred to the Mi-go. The symbols inscribed upon the moon are useful in various processes mentioned in the Necronomicon. It is said that transcriptions of these designs can be sensed by the Mi-go, and those possessing them shall be hunted down by the few remaining on Earth.


©2022 S.C. Hickman Unauthorized use and/or duplication of the images above without express and written permission from this blog’s author is strictly prohibited. All images were created with Midjourney ai and are licensed by them for personal or commercial use.

Ornate Tarot Cards in the Cthulhu Occulture: Night Gaunt (The Moon)

Night Gaunt (The Moon)

“But Carter preferred to look at them than at his captors, which were indeed shocking and uncouth black things with smooth, oily, whale-like surfaces, unpleasant horns that curved inward toward each other, bat wings whose beating made no sound, ugly prehensile paws, and barbed tails that lashed needlessly and disquietingly. And worst of all, they never spoke or laughed, and never smiled because they had no faces at all to smile with, but only a suggestive blankness where a face ought to be. All they ever did was clutch and fly and tickle; that was the way of night-gaunts. „

—H.P. Lovecraft, The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath

Night-gaunts are a species of flying creatures inhabiting Earth’s Dreamlands. They are described as having smooth whale-like skin, long slender humanoid bodies, curving horns, leather bat-like wings, and a blank expanse of flesh where one would expect a face to be.

They revere and worship Nodens as their lord and master.


©2022 S.C. Hickman Unauthorized use and/or duplication of the images above without express and written permission from this blog’s author is strictly prohibited. All images were created with Midjourney ai and are licensed by them for personal or commercial use.

Art Inspired by David Roden’s Snuff Memories

“We see but do not see, since there is nothing to which the sight can be compared.”

David Roden, Snuff Memories

Art Inspired by David Roden’s Snuff Memories

“We as future corpse. In the wake of the infantas, viscera moths pop and circle in the thermals above the refrigerated cradle. Belleypedes skitter over the floor. Abreactive traumas burst as Hazmats gawp like groggy pugilists at the blind editors, unsure of their next move.”

David Roden’s Snuff Memories is the Posthuman Dream Quest, a 21st Century romp through the futural maze where the algorithms bleed and humans are mere flotsam and jetsam in the black circuits of the new machinic civilization. Written as if William Blake had been resurrected in the Secret Forges of the Demiurge, given the opportunity to rewrite his epic worlds as virtual lore for the Machine Gods: a cross between David Cronenberg and J.G. Ballard in a Deleuzian Nightmare where Dante and Johnathan Swift travel as machinic companions into Death’s Kingdom.

Truthfully… Roden’s work is one of those strange crossover texts somewhere between theory-fiction and scrying on the wall of Time. It cannot be interpreted, only survived. Like those strange maximalist concoctions of James Joyce or Thomas Pynchon one does not so much read this work as assemble it in one’s nightly dreams as one enters the liminal interzones of the Unreal yet possible future. Each fragment is a Deleuzian rhizome forging new links in a bubble multiverse where the time-wars make and unmake us under the various masks of a plasticity unbound…

Minimalist in intention and design Roden’s Snuff Memories replaces our time-worn memories with its own, shaping us to an hyperaccelerating vector of imaginative need, shifting us into spectrums of dark light where the impossible folds us into the labors of the Abyss.

Check out these links for more quotes and art:

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©2022 S.C. Hickman All images were created with Midjourney ai and are licensed by them for personal or commercial use.

“The Last Pestilence” – Art Inspired by Thomas Ligotti

Thomas Ligotti on the philosopher Philip Mainländer:

“Ontologically, Mainländer’s thought is delirious; metaphorically, it explains a good deal about human experience; practically, it may in time prove to be consistent with the idea of creation as a structure of creaking bones being eaten from within by a pestilent marrow.” (TCHR, 38)

These images have haunted me for years and only now through nightmares and the visionary materialism I’ve always espoused in collaboration with the new ai technologies of image generation allowing me to bring both together in a dark art that exposes the deepest darkness within Ligotti’s literature (along with my own darkness).


©2022 S.C. Hickman All images were created with Midjourney ai and are licensed by them for personal or commercial use.

Matthew M. Bartlett: “On The Beautiful Stink”

“On The Beautiful Stink” – Matthew M. Bartlett, Where Night Cowers

“SIX WEEKS AGO, driving down a sun-splashed suburban street to the supermarket, I saw a young couple and a boy approximately six years old leading an old man down the sidewalk, the boy holding the man by the wrist. On the old man’s head sat a colorful, conical, pointed birthday hat. He was clad in a light blue sweater vest and white linen pants. His eyes were covered with a black blindfold. The trio, clad in catalog-perfect pastels, pleated and pressed and perfectly fitted, grinned and guffawed, while the old man’s slack mouth and upraised brows betrayed discomfort, possibly terror.”

Love reading Matt’s work and really getting into illustrating it. All experiments so far and this one is deeply influenced by Chris Mars, Naoto Hattori & Matt Dangler. I love their grotesque and comic horror styles and each one has his own complex and affective stance along with incomparable details. In this one I blended all three in style, while referencing Chris Mars in oil on panel painting style. Obviously, this is not my style but, and definitely not plagiarism it’s my working through and understanding what they do and how they do it. I love it and want to understand the mechanics of it. I do the same for Matt’s writing which is singular and driven by his own view of existential horror with a comic-horror and satirical eye onto our everyday lives.

Plus, I did not follow every detail in Matt’s superb description. This is not realist, but fantastic realist. See if you can guess who’s in the window there in the back? Yep… you got it right, it’s Matt looking out over the strangeness of it all.

Discover more about Matthew M. Bartlett

Matthew M. Bartlett was born in Hartford, Connecticut in 1970. At an early age he was given as a gift the novelization of The Omen; not long after that, he inherited a worn copy of Christine by Stephen King. He fell deeply in love with horror: with the Universal monsters, with Hammer films, with the rented videos from the horror section of that almost-gone artifact known as the Video Rental Store. He began writing poetry while in the English program at Central Connecticut State University. An abiding interest in horror fiction led him to start a Livejournal page whose posts were his first forays into fiction: bite-sized tales accompanied by doctored daguerreotypes and his own photographs taken in Leeds and Northampton, Massachusetts. These posts centered around a long-dead coven using radio waves to broadcast disturbing and dangerous transmissions from the dark woods of Western Massachusetts. His inspirations are varied and the foremost are certainly not atypical for the genre: H.P. Lovecraft, Thomas Ligotti, Robert Aickman, T.E.D. Klein. Other authors he admires include Donald E. Westlake, Richard Yates, J.D. Salinger, and Hunter S. Thompson. He also draws inspiration from the radio monologues and shows of Joe Frank; the poetry of Philip Larkin, of Mark Strand, of Stephen Crane; the movies of Wes Anderson, of Ben Wheatley, of the Coen Brothers. He continues to write dark and strange fiction at his home in Western Massachusetts, where he lives with his wife Katie and an unknown number of cats.

Reviews by me:


©2022 S.C. Hickman All images were created with Midjourney ai and are licensed by them for personal or commercial use.

Ornate Tarot Cards in the Cthulhu Occulture: Byakhee (The Star)

Byakhee (The Star)

A horde of tame, trained hybrid winged things that no sound eye could ever wholly grasp, or sound brain ever wholly remember. There flapped rhythmically a horde of tame, trained, hybrid winged things… not altogether crows, nor moles, nor buzzards, nor ants, nor decomposed human beings, but something I cannot and must not recall. „

—H. P. Lovecraft, “The Festival

Byakhee are interstellar predators that travel and survive in the vacuum of interstellar space. If one has the means by which to survive the myriad threats space presents, then one could ride a Byakhee to anywhere in the cosmos. When travelling beyond the speed of light, the creature’s metabolism is greatly increased. When descending to the surface of any given planet, it is usually to feed, at which point it is best avoided.

This interstellar race is believed to serve Hastur the Unspeakable and may be summoned to partake in rituals. Composed of conventional matter, they are vulnerable to ordinary mundane weapons but possess cunning intelligence and guile, and some are able to cast spells.

Dwelling in interstellar space, Byakhee do not have bases on Earth, but may be summoned to perform deeds or to serve as steeds, carrying riders through interstellar space – such riders may need to partake of the revered Space Mead to survive such cold journeys. Some suggest that Byakhee do not fly through space but rather fold space around themselves, allowing near-instantaneous transport between two points.


©2022 S.C. Hickman Unauthorized use and/or duplication of the images above without express and written permission from this blog’s author is strictly prohibited. All images were created with Midjourney ai and are licensed by them for personal or commercial use.