Friday, October 06, 2017

State of the Art

Greetings OM!

(On all 3 vanishing points of the bird's eye view)

I'm happy to say that I am currently hard at work producing new artwork for RAW's Historical Illuminatus Chronicles.

Presently, The Widow's Son chapter illustrations are proceeding very nicely, as I try to stretch my imagination into a hyperspatial pretzel, so as to do this great work justice. The sketch pictured above is the rather humble beginnings of what eventually became my most complex RAW composition to date :)))

I've tried to take this opportunity as an invitation to elevate my craft, trying to bring my images up towards RAW's text, meeting on the level, parting on the square, and all that good $#!+.

As such I've found myself in need of an outlet to process this experience of self-induced creative initiation, and it occurred to me that the ideal place would be the Only Maybe blog! 

So wd that everyone tuned in to this signal excuse & humor me as a sketch out my RAW thoughts, really just for my own edification, and for the fact that thinking out loud amongst intelligent people often yields interesting results.


A lot of my drawing process involves mindless, repetitive details & patterns, so while my eyes and hands are occupied, I like to listen to research material for further projects.

Consequentially, I've been listening to a lot of Marshall McLuhan lectures lately, w/ a notebook at my side, jotting down all the jewels that he so effortlessly drops. His distinction of a cultural war between acoustic & visual spaces, for example, seems to be a much more useful dichotomy than conservative vs. liberal, in so far as making sense of our current state of affairs, or so it seems to me, through my rearview mirror.

I ended up getting sucked into that "Manhunt" Unabomber series on Netflix, and then that documentary "The Net: The Unabomber, LSD and the Internet" which sort of fused together w/ all the McLuhan stuff, and then branched out into RAW's Tale of the Tribe stuff, and still seems to be cascading through my imagination, tracing a new big picture from a constellation of subconsciously connecting data points. It's on days like this that I miss the Overweening Generalist!!

The Manhunt series is surprisingly generous in its depiction of Kaczynski, and generally very supportive of his ideas, treating the bombings as a kind of tragic personal/strategic flaw.

We're in such an awkward stage of development as a species/civilization that it makes sense to question the concept of progress. Mind you, I'm all for it, but am willing to admit it might not work out like I hope. Is it worth noting that the Buddha derived the first noble truth well before the industrial revolution? And that pervasive discontent may be a preexisting condition of the homo sapien nervous system? Only maybe.

I tend to model nature/humans/technology as a holistic system, and thus find the forward escape to be the more alluring option.

"The Net" documentary seems even more in the bag for Kaczynski than the TV series. There's a couple parts where the filmmaker, Lutz Dammbeck, is interviewing people personally affected by the bombings, and asks them to engage w/ Kaczynski's ideas as if the bombings were just a creative way to start a larger dialogue about an important issue, which naturally provokes angry and dismissive reactions.

I mean he basically implies to David Gelernter, a man who lost a hand to one of Kaczynski's bombs, that the Unabomber was justified in his actions. What's he supposed to say to that? Gelernter's response is quite fair enough actually, and maybe he was being teed up to give that kind of potent rebuke? IDK. Gelernter now seems to be a Trumpist style anti-liberal, which I guess makes a kind of perverse sense.

Harvard Psychologist Henry Murray emerges as a fascinating character in The Net's expanded Tale of the Tribe universe, who performed psychological experiments on a young Ted Kaczynski, and also oversaw Timothy Leary's initial LSD research.

[The Macy Conferences is a can so teeming w/ relevant worms that I dare not open it, except to note how well it compliments the material in the "Century of the Self" documentary series, i.e. post WWII social engineering/public relations/propaganda.]

From there Dammbeck seems to sketch out a scenario where the CIA is intertwined w/ the 60's counter culture in order to cultivate a globalist movement. A paranoid narrative straight out of the "Info Wars" playbook, which then became the Trumpist playbook. Nationalism vs. globalism, or as McLuhan would have it, print culture vs oral culture.

I was unnerved to learn that Steve Bannon shares my fascination w/ the Viconian ricorso, my main preoccupation while studying w/ RAW. I discovered this after I noticed how well our current cultural conditions match up with the "divine age," bringing us back to the beginning of the cycle. (Trump's meme magic cultists refer to him as their "god emperor" after all)

I've been spreading this passage of McKenna quoting McLuhan discussing Joyce's Finnegans Wake for 11 years now, its implications seeming much more clear and urgent to me now:

As his title indicates, he saw that the wake of human progress can disappear again into the night of sacral or auditory man. The Finn cycle of tribal institutions can return in the electric age, but if again, then let’s make it a wake or awake or both. Joyce could see no advantage in our remaining locked up in each cultural cycle as in a trance or dream. He discovered the means of living simultaneously in all cultural modes while quite conscious. The means he cites for such self-awareness and correction of cultural bias is his “collideorscope”. This term indicates the interplay in colloidal mixture of all components of human technology as they extend our senses and shift their ratios in the social kaleidoscope of cultural clash: “deor”, savage, the oral or sacral; “scope” the visual or profane and civilized.”




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