Category Archives: Student Blogs

About The Science Fictional Grotesque

The Science Fictional Grotesque

SCI-Arc Instructor – Claire Phillips

Spring Semester 2011 – Student Works

In response to readings and film ranging from 19th century gothic horror to 80s body horror and present day “new weird”, students are asked to perform a number of short informal exercises and longer formal works. For the first formal writing assignment students are asked to create a work in which a “grotesque object” gives rise in some way to a “grotesque interval,” a gap in perception shared by the object and the perceiver. For the second, students are then evaluated on their use of an experimental writing strategy.  This might include non-linear narrative, pastiche, substitution, formal constraints, or any number of poetic devices. For this writing assignment students translate the inorganic — a rendering, model or work of architecture — into the organic. In order to qualify as grotesque, formal boundaries and categories are to blurred or infected. A special emphasis is placed on excess.

Blog Coordinator – Julian Brummitt

Below are full story listings, for short exerpts, click “Excerpts” on the left


Neo Garibay – Programmatic : Problematic

On the first day, of The Creation, there existed nothingness and space.  A space that stretched beyond perception, beyond limit, and beyond constraint.  That knew nothing of intelligence, nothing of object, and nothing of beauty.  No awareness of its potential nor any awareness of the one transverse being that inhabited the nothingness and space simultaneously.

This transverse being, aware of its presence relative to the void, of unawareness, held the power to bare into fruition things that the void could never birth alone.  To the transverse being, the void of unawareness symbolized a point in time and ultimately a starting point for The Creation: his own creation.  It was at this moment, in the beginning, that he sacrificed a part of himself to give to the void.

And so, the transverse being reached down to his own being, squeezing firmly, to begin the process of secretion.  And with each jolt and pursuant spasm he experienced that which the void lacked, beauty.  Soft and repetitious the swarm, gooey instrument of utility of form.  Foreseen ahead of warm, erect my chief to a form.  Complex networks lock and retract.  Erect my builder to a form.  Ferociously scratching and tearing out from his soul, freely from within and out with a form.  Spinning ribbons rejoice in the rejection and into the void.

Comprehension is not sequestered in privilege.

I look ahead to gaze into the light, into a solemn reflection of myself.  Intuition foretells of a threat and suddenly I see my solemn reflection transform into an agonizing fear and pain.  A shriek traverses space and penetrates my body with vibrations of screams echoing through voids in my body.   As the reflection begins to levitate away I come to understand that the reflection is not that of my own body, but that of another body like my own.  I become a witness to murder, as the high-pitched shriek emanating from the liken abruptly stops by the splitting of one living body into two dead parts.  Internal organs and fluids rain and dance for me as they crash onto the ground.  Performance through sacrifice.  A third apparition is created and almost immediately and savagely explodes for me sprinkling its black blood everywhere.  Revelation through process.

However beautifully reflective, the transverse being’s child was born a defect.  Deformed in  his own devastation, the transverse being took his shame, his first child, and created a second, a cloned child.  Taking the clone child in his hand he cut it in half and examined the innards, attempting to deliver his creation from imperfection.  Dissatisfied with the emptiness he witnessed within, he once again reached down onto his being and salivated beauty, a slick black goo, from a repetitious gesture.   But once again, beauty was not enough to remedy an empty void and an empty third child.   Sacrificing more of himself with each subsequent clone, he forged on, attempting to give life and meaning to that which had none.  Infinite in his diligence, the transverse being cloned his child repeatedly in a disassembly line of children and beauty.