The Alternative Guide to the Universe

The Alternative Guide to the Universe


The Alternative Guide to the Universe is a stunning companion publication to the Hayward Gallery exhibition of the same name. This highly illustrated catalogue surveys works from more than 25 self-taught artists, architects and urbanists, photographers, visionary engineers and outsider scientists, all of whom guide us through inventive scenarios, providing a series of bracingly unorthodox perspectives on the world we live in.

Most of these practitioners develop their ideas, practices and artefacts outside the established institutions and official discourses. Forging their own paths of discovery and invention, these mavericks explore fictional identities and alter-egos, design imaginary and utopian cities, build healing machines and record the unseen energy flows of our bodies with the help of technical diagrams. Taken together, their varied and idiosyncratic creations conjure a kind of a parallel universe where ingenuity and inventiveness trump common sense and received wisdom.

The Alternative Guide to the Universe includes work by Morton Bartlett, Emery Blagdon, Eugene Von Bruenchenhein, James Carter, Guo Fengyi, Lee Godie, Richard Greaves, Alfred Jensen, Bodys Isek Kingelez, Paul Laffoley, Melvin Way, Jean Perdrizet, Rammellzee, A.G. Rizzoli, William Scott, Marcel Storr, George Widener and Wu Yulu, amongst others.

The catalogue features new essays by authors from a variety of disciplines such as leading art historian Roger Cardinal, award-winning novelist Rick Moody, cultural chronicler Mark Pilkington, science writer Margaret Wertheim, art historian Valérie Rousseau, as well as a foreword by Ralph Rugoff, Director of Hayward Gallery.

The Alternative Guide to the Universe is a fascinating anthology of writings touring through a surprising and rich creative landscape, and a wealth of inspiring and previously unseen visual material, inviting us to fearlessly re-imagine our social and cultural conventions.

Foreword by Ralph Rugoff
Essays by Roger Cardinal, Rick Moody, Mark Pilkington,
Valérie Rousseau and Margaret Wertheim.

192 pages
21 x 28 cm
100 colour and b/w ills
ISBN 978 1 85332 301 0
RRP £24.99

Designed by Sara De Bondt Studio

Roger Cardinal is the author of the book Outsider Art, published in 1972, and is Emeritus Professor at the University of Kent. In 1972 he and Victor Musgrave curated ‘Outsiders’ at the Hayward Gallery, London.

Rick Moody is a novelist and short story writer.

Mark Pilkington is a writer, curator, and musician, with a keen interest in the paranormal. He wrote a series of articles for the Guardian focusing on the stranger notions of scientific discovery.

Valérie Rousseau is Curator of Contemporary Art at the American Folk Art Museum, New York.

Margaret Wertheim is a science writer, and has written a series of books on the cultural history of physics and the natural sciences.

Ralph Rugoff is Director of Hayward Gallery.

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