“Mysticism, magic and alchemy all come into play in the creative process. For centuries musicians have tapped into things spiritual, embracing ritual, spell, incantation and prayer deeply into their life and work. Although the connection of music to mysticism has been consistent, well documented and productive, it is still shrouded in mystery and largely misunderstood. For this special edition, Arcana focuses on the nexus of mysticism and spirituality in the magical act of making music. Far from an historical overview or cold musicologist’s study, these essays illuminate a fascinating and elusive subject via the the eloquent voices of today’s most distinguished modern practitioners and greatest occult thinkers, providing insights into the esoteric traditions and mysteries involved in the composition and performance of the most mystical of all arts.
Dary John Mizelle
Genesis Breyer P-Orridge
David Chaim Smith
Peter Lamborn Wilson
Z’ev” — back cover
The Blazing Dew of Stars by David Chaim Smith is a new title, due Sept 29th, 2013, from Fulgur that may be of interest.
“After the overwhelming public reception for David Chaim Smith’s The Sacrificial Universe (2012), we are delighted to announce a new book from this exceptional artist and author. Describing it, David has this to say:
The Blazing Dew of Stars is a complex mystical text which speaks with many voices to introduce the practice of kabbalistic contemplative alchemy (Iy’yun). It offers glimpses of a rare non-theistic non-emanationist view by direct application and immersion, intertwining both linguistic and graphic modes of symbolic communication. Its images and words intersect in the twilight of poetic resonance, which can be cultivated within the reader as the material is worked with deeply.
The edition is available in two issues. As a deluxe, bound in lavish full morocco tooled in gilt on the upper and lower cover with a gnosime seal, with custom dust-jacket and lined slipcase. And as a standard edition, produced in an identical format and quality of print and bound in rich black cloth and dust-jacket.” [via]
The Occult Humanities Conference: Contemporary Art and Scholarship on the Esoteric Traditions will take place at NYU on Oct 18-20, 2013 in New York. The conference was announced today and looks to be quite worth checking out, especially since information about the schedule, participants and exhibition have already been posted. The event is being hosted by Phantasmaphile, the Observatory, and NYU Steinhardt Department of Art and Art Professions.
Pam Grossman announced this on her Phantasmaphile blog today.
I am thrilled to announce The Occult Humanities Conference, taking place on October 18th-20th at NYU, and co-organized by myself and Jesse Bransford. The weekend will feature lectures, an art exhibition, and entertainment, all of which explore occult subject matter.
Speakers include Susan Aberth, Robert Ansell, Elijah Burgher, Laurent Ferri, Mitch Horowitz, Amy Hale, William Kiesel, Gary Lachman, Mark Pilkington, Shannon Taggart, Jesse, and myself.
The accompanying exhibition, Verbal, Somatic and Material, will contain artwork and esoteric books by Jesse Bransford, Elijah Burgher, David Chaim Smith, Fulgur Esoterica, Ouroboros Press, and Shannon Taggart.
Entertainment will be provided by The Parlour Trick and Acep Hale.
And there will be books vended by Catland, Fulgur Esoterica, and Ouroboros Press.” [via]
“The Occult Humanities Conference
October 18-20, 2013
Hosted by Phantasmaphile, Observatory and the NYU Steinhardt Department of Art and Art Professions
34 Stuyvesant St., New York, NY
The Occult Humanities Conference is a weekend conference to be held in New York City on October 18-20th, 2013. The conference will present a wide array of voices active in the cultural landscape who are specifically addressing the occult tradition through research, scholarship and artistic practice.
The arts and humanities at present are acutely interested in subjects related to the occult tradition. The tradition represents a rich and varied visual culture that displays a complex set of relations at once culturally specific and global in their transmission. Roughly defined, the occult tradition represents a series of culturally syncretic belief systems with related and overlapping visual histories. Though there are as many ways into this material as there are cultural — and personal — perspectives, universal occult concerns often include a belief in some sort of magic; a longing to connect with an immaterial or trans-personal realm; and a striving for inner-knowledge, refinement of the self, and transformation of one’s consciousness — if not one’s physical circumstances.
Intensely marginalized throughout most historical periods, these traditions persist and represent an ‘underground’ perspective that periodically exerts a strong influence on structures of dissent, utopianism and social change. Though history is marked with several so-called ‘Occult Revivals,’ the contemporary digital age is a perfect confluence of several factors which make this moment prime for a reexamination of all of the esoteric traditions. While the information age has allowed for easier access to previously obscure writings, imagery, and social contexts, it alternately elicits a deep desire for sensorial experiences and meaning-making once one steps away from the screen.
The presenters at the OHC represent a rich and expanding community of international artists and academics from multiple disciplines across the humanities who share an exuberance and excitement for how the occult traditions interface with their fields of study as well as the culture at large. The small scale of this conference (approximately 100 attendees) will give ticket holders an intimate look at the presenters and their views.
The visually-oriented presentations will be coupled with an exhibition of artworks by several presenters and artisanal books from Fulgur Esoterica and Ouroboros Press.” [via]
I:MAGE An Inaugural Exhibition of Esoteric Artists at Store Street Gallery on May 19-25, 2013 in London
Fulgur Esoterica has announced I:MAGE An Inaugural Exhibition of Esoteric Artists which will be running from May 19-25, 2013 at the Store Street Gallery 32 Store Street, Bloomsbury, London UK.
An Inaugural Exhibition of Esoteric Artists
LONDON, 19th-25th May, 2013
I:MAGE is a selling exhibition hosted by FULGUR ESOTERICA that brings together for the first time an international group of artists working in the esoteric genre.
Ranging from the work of progressive women such as Ithell Colquhoun and Steffi Grant, to the dark symbolist themes of Agostino Arrivabene and Denis Forkas Kostromitin set against the contemporary exploratory audio-visual practices of NOKO, I:MAGE promises to be a landmark exhibition.
Held in the heart of London at the Store Street Gallery, this show will cover two floors and over 1600sq ft of exhibition space. A full colour catalogue will be available.
To mark this occasion a week of special evening events and art-related projects will be held in collaboration with Treadwell’s Bookshop, next door.” [via]
Denis Forkas Kostromitin
Barry William Hale
David Chaim Smith
Austin Osman Spare
and special guest
Agostino Arrivabene” [via]
Fulgur Limited has sent out announcements about The Sacrificial Universe by David Chaim Smith. This is Smith’s first book with Fulgur, and apparently “the largest format book” [via] they’ve yet produced.
“As we begin our twentieth year of publishing, we are delighted to announce our first title from an exceptional and highly respected artist. David Chaim Smith has been known to students of kabbalah for more than a decade, but a recent return to art as a vocational practice has brought his work to a wider audience. His first book with us, The Sacrificial Universe, draws upon his experience to present us with a devotional approach to ecstatic visionary mysticism. Ranging from intellectual treatises on sacred geometry, biomorphism and the symbol of the serpent in kabbalistic theory and practise, to a poetic twilight language of ecstatic devotion, The Sacrificial Universe is unlike any other book we have offered to date.
Produced as a lavish small folio with generous margins and a classic typographic style, The Sacrificial Universe presents David’s key artworks of the last four years as full-page images, with the triptychs and quadriptych offered as folding plates. The complex and evocative iconographic symbolism is also explored through commentaries. And yet The Sacrificial Universe is more than a homage to those seventeenth century books of hermetic mysticism. Structured according to the classic kabbalistic text Sefer Yetzirah, The Sacrificial Universe may be approached on three levels (world, year, and soul) to offer the reader a view of gnostic surrender within a vision of the self-consuming nature of phenomena.” [via]
If you are in the New York City area in March, you may want to also save the date for a launch party on March 23rd, 6-8pm with a live performance by John John and special guests.
“We are delighted to host a much anticipated launch party for The Sacrificial Universe in collaboration with our friends at the Cavin-Morris Gallery in the Chelsea arts district, New York, on March 23rd. The event will run from 6-8pm. We are especially honoured that the evening will feature a live performance from John Zorn, plus special guests.
March 23rd, 2012, 6-8pm
210 Eleventh Avenue, Suite 201 (between 24th and 25th, east side)
New York, NY 10001, United States
Anyhow, although this is “just announced”, I did post “The Sacrificial Universe” last year, with an embedded video that appears to have since been deleted. So, not exactly new news, but now there’s more news that’s new, so to speak.