Institution and Abyss

Thom Giddens (Lead / Corresponding author)

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
42 Downloads (Pure)


This paper reflects on the relationship between institution and abyss, specifically the contingency of the elaboration of law’s institutional form upon the inaccessible and unspeakable otherness posited to lie beyond the realm of presence. It does this by bringing together Joshua W Cotter’s enigmatic comics work Nod Away, Pierre Legendre’s psychoanalytic jurisprudence of institutional foundations in God in the Mirror, and H. P. Lovecraft’s nominally fictional case studies of the limits of representation. In undertaking this analysis, Cotter’s work is ultimately read as an example of horrific jurisprudence that seeks to progressively reformulate our relationship with the imagined beyond. Nod Away—and horrific jurisprudence as a project—thus provides a conceptual method through which the founding conditions of law’s institutional appearance can be accessed, examined, and opened to the potential for radical reformation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)150-171
Number of pages21
JournalLaw, Technology and Humans
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 21 Nov 2020


  • Pierre Legendre
  • graphic justice
  • legal theory
  • horrific jurisprudence
  • Nod Away
  • form


Dive into the research topics of 'Institution and Abyss'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this