The Atomic Book Digital Archive and Thesis
The Atomic Book is a digital archive I created which documents the visual and textual works of the artist and writer Anthony Mannix - though he goes by many other names: anthropologist of the unconscious, locked up lunatic, displaced shaman, builder of psychotic cosmologies, architect of mental sculptures, playboy of the garbage tin, binder of books, brut art-maker, madman.
Six years in the making the archive represents the only public record of the work of this prolific Australian art maker. Since 2013 The Atomic Book has been hosted by the University of Sydney as part of their Self-Taught and Outsider Art Research Collection: STOARC.
I have designed this archive as a referencing tool for my research into the work Mannix has been creating over the last 35 years. It is, as he himself has suggested, an anthropology of the unconscious populated by many voices - what he calls 'appearances' or 'presences':
Rosey Spite, They, The Obstacle, small-radio, the Beast of the Unconscious, Mordrol – bloody dark fish, Christina Farsight, ageless horse of psychosis, Untuck, luminous lighthouse, Milestone, the Lotus, the Little Voice, ghosts of the eternal suicides, The Terror, The Tyger with No Eyes, The thin Ball-Bearing Man, The Giant Pink Fish, Gruesome, The Doctor, The Eggmen, The Honey-Eater and The Magnificent Oscillating Vision.
These entities are his friends, collaborators, lovers and enemies; they inhabit his unconscious, which he travels through; they populate his chaotic ‘speculative’ narratives, speak through him, are spoken, their cacophonous voices scoring each of the 5000 pages in the 72 artist-books contained in this archive.
Mannix has the last word and the first, my research analysing his work is a mere scratch on the surface of his Cosmology into which I invite you to follow me.