I Looked into the Void, and the Void Looked Back

Everyday messages of existential dread. Please take one.

When the news cycle is serving fresh hell daily, it can be hard to turn away from all the bungled court hearings, raw-sewage floods, and ruined lives to ponder the eternal questions. Like: Why are we here? What lies beyond? And whence comes this constant, creeping feeling of horror?

As Jean-Paul Sartre wrote in 1938’s Nausea, “Every existing thing is born without reason, prolongs itself out of weakness, and dies by chance.” In this spirit of entropy, Topic asked artist Nathaniel Russell to turn away from the petty anxieties of modern life and create fliers looking not for lost dogs or potential babysitters but answers—explanations for the angst that consumes us all. Perhaps there’s nothing to fear beyond this mortal coil; perhaps we’re already living in the worst of all possible worlds. But does it really matter either way? As a more contemporary philosopher, Kim Kardashian West, once put it: “When there’s so many haters and negative things, I really don’t care.”


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