Travelling Consciousness

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  • Title: Travelling Consciousness: The Distance between Fantasy and Reality in the Created Landscape
  • Author(s): Mira Thurner
  • Publisher: Common Ground Research Networks
  • Collection: Common Ground Research Networks
  • Series: The Image
  • Journal Title: The International Journal of the Image
  • Keywords: Landscape, Fantasy and Science Fiction, Perception
  • Volume: 10
  • Issue: 3
  • Year: 2019
  • ISSN: 2154-8560 (Print)
  • ISSN: 2154-8579 (Online)
  • DOI:
  • Citation: Thurner, Mira . 2019. "Travelling Consciousness: The Distance between Fantasy and Reality in the Created Landscape." The International Journal of the Image 10 (3): 19-35. doi:10.18848/2154-8560/CGP/v10i03/19-35.
  • Extent: 17 pages


In film, illustration, and digital art new worlds are continuously created. A study of the landscapes of fantasy and science fiction and philosophical ideas of perception provide insight into the construction of alternate reality locations and the rationale behind them. Any study featuring the natural world is necessarily complex and vast. A discrete series of examples will be used to explore aspects of the landscape including illustration and painting by German Expressionist artist Walter Gramatté, stills from the Shingo Natsume directed anime “Space Dandy,” the medial constructions of Broersen and Lukács, and fiction narratives. These images and evocations of alternate worlds are analysed as examples that play with perceptions of reality through distorted mimesis or abstraction. Each artist engages with humanity and scale, where the created landscape is used figuratively and metaphorically, referring to and querying our attitudes to our natural surroundings—our lives as both organism and dominator of our own recognisable world. In acknowledging that the creative landscape is shaped by our humanity, we can reconcile our wishes or fears of the world around us. The “traveller” is safe to explore difficult terrain, potential theories, and alternate realities, and in the current age of the Anthropocene and post-humanism, this could be key to addressing humanity’s future. This article is intended as a precursor to proposed papers that will further unpack the importance of world-building and image in the analysis of our connections to our environments.