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The Cult of the Infinite

Part 2 Project 2010
Isaac Barraclough
University of Huddersfield Huddersfield UK
The work centres on a personal narrative inspired by Jorge Luis Borges’ short story The Book of Sands and the revelation of an infinite book to the protagonist. The story has been expanded on in the form of an epilogue, whereupon the book has passed hands to a group of individuals who proceed to form a sacred cult around the book and its limitless contents.

The thesis aims to explore the idea of infinity in an architecture and also the idea of the common and understood when revealed to us in an unknown and intimidating fashion. This is primarily revealed in the guise of ‘The Book’ and the house it resides in; all of this in turn, supposedly lies within a ravine in the Pyrenees – but ultimately, everything may not be as it first apparently seems.

The story and the work is introduced as part of a collection of documents supposedly found within a suitcase unearthed in the French Pyrenees.

The book is the focal point of a community of unknown size and provides the basis of daily ritual there. The day-to-day activities of the people who reside within the community provide for its sustenance and operate much as a monastery would. The key difference is that their scripture is a very real book: which to the extent of their knowledge holds literally all of what has been, what will be and what is. It will also hold everything that has never been, never will be and never is.

This is The Cult of The Infinite.

A place where an infinite lives meet an infinite book and their endless attempts to extract and catalogue its contents into an infinite library…

Isaac Barraclough


The post-graduate design thesis forms a year long quest. The narrative of this journey explores the Remote and the Infinite, drawing the viewer into a parallel reality and engaging him in the Cult of these dangerous and corrupting forces.

A suitcase acquired in the Pyrenees in 2007 contains a number of extraordinary artefacts. By the painstaking analysis of this fragmented archaeology the author presents us with an exquisite but tantalising image of another world, that is both tangible yet mutable, mystical and allegorical, exploring and synthesizing multi-layered emergent themes, and enticing the viewer within the narrative and ultimate committal to the sect comprising worshipful scribes, readers, librarians, who are all compelled to share the quest of the ‘Cult of the Infinite’.

The viewer is immersed in a philosophically formed esoteric proposition rigorously explored and exquisitely declared via an expansive edition of sublime hand drawn renderings. Fight Club meets John Martin as a spatial construct.

Tutor(s)
Mr Gerard Bareham

2010
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