Before Caught in a Void, there was Beyond. Both projects from the inimitable M.J. Lindow explore personal feelings of despair, disconnection, loneliness — and hope. While Caught in a Void centered the artist as the subject, Beyond depicts celestial beings alone in their own corner of vast, empty space.
Beyond #22 portrays a dim, dense, and small celestial body against a black background. It appears to be receding into the distance or collapsing into a singularity. In contrast, Beyond #88 radiates much more promising energy — still alone, but warmer and more connected vibes nonetheless.
Some editions, like Beyond #134, are less uninhabited. It features a chilly blue palette and a trio of planetary beings set below a singular radiating mass. Is this a moment of isolation, self-exclusion, or disconnection from the group? In Beyond #85, there’s a different and curious tension between a sole, bright visitor passing by a dim, immense, and seemingly lifeless being.
Other outputs bring feelings of hope and contentment. Amidst a galactic merger, the warm tones of Beyond #6 and #68 render the viewer a warm invitation. They are comfortably populated, overlapping in mid-collision in an effect that evokes a touching moment of familial togetherness.
Though not explicitly stated by the artist, Beyond also feels intrinsically linked to Waiting in Afton, Lindow’s most revered fxhash release. Both convey feelings of exploration (Afton looks to the horizon, Beyond to the stars) and isolation (the solitary feeling of being alone on earth versus drifting in space) while luring in the viewer with texture, detail, and grandeur.
Whereas Afton is a more realistic depiction of its subject, Beyond finds accuracy in how we may imagine it feels to float amongst stars. Scrolling through the various outputs, I feel myself in orbit, vibing out to bursts of cosmic energy — annihilation never seemed so cool.