Gestalt psychologists would tell us that absence has a form, that we build recognition through gaps as much as we do through the real. A shape made within the hollows of other shapes; two faces meet around a vase.
For a long time, we knew what we wanted Crawlspace to be through what we couldn’t see: digital-born literature given pride of place in Australian online journals. An open space for emerging digital artists to see what is possible, but also to identify gaps themselves, to draw new creative works from these generative voids.
Much emerges through these illusory gaps in our second issue. In ‘Pleasure of the text’, Holly Isemonger gives command of the text over to readers, unfurling a playful shifting bridge between us and Roland Barthes’ proposed “space for bliss”. In both of Alicia Guo’s works, secret worlds are revealed inbetween networked spaces; one a constellation made of childhood memories, and the other a more generous internet glimpsed through the browser. Scrolling through Theo Ellin Ballew’s piece with joyful abandon, toggling between an abundant then sparse environment, readers are presented with seemingly endless possibilities in a piece that is somehow both ephemeral and complete. For Tegan Webb, this generative void emerges in the foreshortening of possibility in a poignant Twine fiction that explores the gaps between personal and social identity.
For us, Crawlspace was almost nothing, a tiny shift in the texture of darkness, until it was there, almost eerily whole. When we look through the pieces in this issue, we feel that same sense of awe; the sense of being pulled into focus.
– Rory Green and Hannah Jenkins, co-editors