James V. Kracht
Consider this a small introduction and a statement of "aesthetic purpose." My name is James Kracht, and I've taken over for the departed Corey Whitworth (last seen in Boston, I believe, boarding a boat to Antarctica). I'm the new art director for Nightscapes, and I'm very pleased to be here.
As for my purpose, aesthetic and otherwise, I volunteer only this: during the past two years I've been experimenting with strange maths within a small application called "Filter Factory" (a hidden part of the Adobe Photoshop package). I was attempting to graph systems of numbers -- to reveal patterns -- and to capture small sections of those patterns within the frame of a picture.
Imagine: a cramped, darkened room, lit only by a string of Christmas lights set to "throb" mode; lots of electronic music (Aphex Twin's "Collected Ambient Works Vol. II" was indispensable), old mathematics books, and plenty of mental stimulation - all these things came together to form a robust set of image manipulation filters for use within Photoshop.
I taught myself how to use these strange tools - and quickly noticed "realities" within the imagery. It was nothing overtly realistic -- only shapes evocative of basic things -- sky, ground, mountain, ocean, stars, suns. It brought me back to some of the mental imagery I'd experienced while reading all of Lovecraft's stories. It was then only a matter of hours before I started generating hallucinatory landscapes -- and capturing them -- like holiday snaps from a journey to a dark dreamland.
Within this issue of Nightscapes I attempted to translate, as accurately as I could, the thoughts and dominant images that came to my mind while reading these excellent stories. My personal take on story banners is that they shouldn't just trigger singular associations, but instead, should conjure a sense place, and perhaps a cascade of associations that flash by like frames of a film just prior to reading a story. I hope I've been successful. I hope you like them. Your feedback is welcome!
Created: October 5, 1998; Updated: August 9, 2004