Video: Boom Festival 2008 Visionary Art Culture Creators Discussion Panel
In 2008, I participated in a panel discussion at Portugal’s bi-annual Boom Festival on the topic of Visionary Art Culture Creators, with Android Jones, Carey Thompson, Luke Brown, Leo Plaw, Laurence Caruana, and several others who joined us unscheduled, including Erik Davis and Sylvia Thyssen.
The panel was moderated by my friend Delvin Solkinson, who also made a video of the talk and recently posted it online:
The talk was transcribed in part by Delvin, also posted at PodCollective.com:
Delvin : Welcome to the Stream. This is the Liminal Village at Boom Festival 2008 in Idanha-a-Nova, Portugal.
Our cusp culture is borne into an age of deep transformation, ripe with new avenues for expression and artistic evolution. In a world of rapidly dissolving borders and boundaries, the separation between the worlds of the imaginal and the worlds of the material are deepening their weave. With access to the knowledge and history of all cultures of the world, what was once separated by distance and language, is now being melded together. We now have access to the history of art from all different artistic traditions. The modern artist is steeped in influences from all artistic genres and art eras.
Fueled by the worldwideweb and vast evolutions in the quality of communications technologies, artists everywhere are being empowered to share their work with an increasingly global audience. Nodes, collectives, forums and galleries are emerging to represent countries, continents and even newly globalized art culture movements. It is a time potentized with the possibility of a civilization reconnected with its imaginal roots in the dreamy expanses of the limitless human imagination. Art culture represents a return to a resacrelized, respiritualized and revitalized future in which the engines of technoindustrial materialism redirect its energies from plastic toys and thing fetishism to immersive multimedia environments and a reconnection with the natural world.
Advances in communications technology means artists who at one time were limited to representing in their own country can now share their work globally. In this way living artistic traditions all over the earth are influencing and being influenced by each other simultaneously. A global art culture is getting connected and with it come undreampt of potentials for collaborative artistic evolution. There is a new sheen on the surface of what art means for human culture and what potentials it has to shape the context into which the future culture is being birthed.
What is the role of art in the emerging culture?
Jen Zariat : That goes into the definition of what is art and what is culture. In a lot of ways those two things are intermingled expressions of each other. There is always the classic debate does art reflect culture or does culture reflect art? In this time we are discussing the culture we are in now, with people traveling across borders and expanses of the mind that have not yet been traversed, combining influences from geographical and chronological intersections to create new conceptions. At this time, art is changing its form from being received as a two dimensional flat space into more of a multimedia expression. People are becoming more accepting of various artistic expressions.
Carey : I believe the role of art is really important in culture today because it provides insights and possibilities into what are potential roadmaps and ways in which culture can be steered. Art has an amazing power to transform individuals within at a base cellular level. Through that individual change it shifts and continues to effect other people, exponentially creating a movement and snowballing effect that effects global culture through todays means of communication and cross-pollination. The intention we put behind the art infuses and crystalizes that experience. The transference of that intention through the art is an amazing and powerful way of ultimately transforming people and the world through an initial shift that occurs at a core level of being.
Leo : Art always shows us the new direction, it takes us to places we have never been before. Even at a basic design level everything you see around you has been created by a human mind, by a human hand. It takes somebody with a creative mindset to visualize these things, manifest these things and bring these things forth. Regardless of what art form we are talking about, its artists who manifest our future. We are reflecting the age or the aeon that we are moving into and that is why the peculiarity of what our art form is, and why it is becoming so prevalent, is because it matches and resonates with the time and the needs of the age in which we live in now.
Delvin : What is the function of art at the Boom?
Laurence : What we are trying to create here at the Boom is a sacred space. It is a space where you yourselves can reach beyond your own limits and capabilities. You can do this on the dancefloor, in the theatre, by just being alone on entheogens, or you can come to the gallery. The whole potential of this gallery is much different than galleries you see out on the streets in any town where the art is just there for sale or for you to buy it because you like it. Here the art is being shown, its for free, its just there for you to gaze upon, and as you gaze upon it, the art starts to open up its doors, it opens up doors that are inside of you. As you start to interact with the art it becomes a journey, a voyage, it brings you to that sacred place that we are looking for. We are here in this sacred place as well as a sacred place that is inside of you. Thats is what is coming out when you are looking at a work of art with your eyes open. This is what we are tying to do by providing the art here in this space.
Luke : I can speak of a personal relationship that i have with the art that is here and with reflections that i am receiving from a lot of people about the art that are interacting with that has been brought here. It reinforces on an atomic level my own mission with my art and the purpose behind it. This mission is replicating with accuracy these specific visionary states, these qualities of consciousness that we are accessing and interpreting with our skills. I am so grateful for the kinds of reflections that i have received from people about what they are experiencing with this art, really profound experiences which are so visionary. They may not have the skill set to manifest it in this particular form, but there is an infinite spectrum of forms that you can manifest those kinds of revelationary states that you might experience. It reinforces a role or task that I feel is assigned to me with my art; to map this hyperspacial dimension, convey it with accuracy and pay close attention to the architecture of these inner dimensions.
Andrew : I bring a lot of my art to the festival circuit, and i find that my art is really about communication and communicating with people. I find that sharing it in this setting as opposed to a traditional gallery or on the internet or in a book where you are removed, I am able to immerse myself in authentic experiences of people and experience the reflections they have what i am doing. A lot of the times that i am working on a peace i might not really know its true intention or why i am making it but through the feedback of other people a lot of this becomes clear to me and that clarity is a very potent experience.
Carey : I think a lot of us here are involved in many festivals, including large events in the states like Burning Man which is a huge exhibition of art on all levels and exhibition scales. Boom more than any other festival that i am aware of is super global and international. Art is very important at this festival as it gives us an opportunity to see what other artists in other parts of the world are doing. In essence this is so revelatory because we can see that we are all collectively tuning into something that is happening on a global scale. This is a really important thing to realize that its not an isolated experience we are all going through, its a field that is occurring across the whole globe. As artists we have resonating potentials to tune into these frequencies and serve as conduits for what is going on. Here we can see how people in different parts of the world are translating those energies that are coming through, and for all of us to be able to see what we are doing, share ideas and cross pollenate. It’s so important that we make these connections and gain creative insights from people in other parts of the world. This is what’s necessary to get this movement going and catalyze a quickening to really accelerate what’s happening. We are sharing and getting feedback occurring that is going to open up these portals for us to receive more of what’s coming through in order to create the shift that we are all envisioning, co-creating and dreaming. Boom is so important because it is international and global, and thats what we all realize here and what we are doing, we just need to keep on doing it.
Erik Davis : There is a lot of intention about what effect you want to produce in the ideal viewer, even though many people have different ways they react to it. Are you aware of thinking that you want to concentrate energy? Or channel this kind of thing in terms of the design you are working with? Do you want to trigger some aspect of your own visual perception? On a finer level what is the intention? What is the attention to detail about?
Luke : My relationship with my art is fine tuning the process with the effect that intention can have and the transference of that intention. Its not just in the symbols that appear or in the composition, but its actually a tangible resonance thats emanating off of whatever has been created, whether its the surface of the canvas, in an installation or in a space thats generated, the intention becomes a part of the field itself and maintains in whatever that object is. I experience that personally all the time by having an intention that is so clarified with the origin of a specific image and what that means, then carrying it with me as i am creating it and having reflections all the time that are exactly that as if it just transfered over without any dilution. I recognize its important to fine tune that. We have an opportunity to hold a specific role and offer a medicine. For me its about conveying with as much accuracy as possible what that experience is.
Erik Davis : I love the way you use the word accuracy, its a clarity that comes through all this fucking madness. Its crazy, the imaginal realms and all their spitting up. There is something about coming away with a sense of being able to recognize the deep patterning through clarity and really communicate it. Other nervous systems pick up on that and share that intentionality.
Jen Zariat : In my own work I do photography as well as painting and they are two very diverse forms of art. When i take photographs i don’t do staged or pre-prepared photos. I only shoot things exactly as i see them in the moment. When i do painting its almost like my opportunity to take a brief snapshot of a very chaotic and multidimensional experience and capture that into something that i can remember and take back with me. My images are often self portrait like, loose interpretations where in the image I have an opportunity to use symbolic and cultural reflections from my own experiences, as well as to become a part of, in a greater context, defining new symbolisms and new patterns that begin to create resonances in people. When you begin to see these things over and over again in different contexts that didn’t necessarily have a shape or meaning before, we are adding to the depths of the symbolism as we continue to use this imagery. When we start to define these things through creating specific colors and forms it gives people an opportunity to look for thematic occurrences and to identify with parts of the experience. it validates it for people in some ways and for myself to be able to see it in a tangle form makes it more real. I can pick out the parts that are relevant to me and take them on with me into the future to use something from the experience that i had.
Andrew : I use art to navigate the mystery of the human experience. Sometimes my intention in creating art is to reflect the beauty of the world that I see around and that I cannot understand. Sometimes I make art to reflect the frustration of this experience that at times makes absolutely no fucking sense to me whatsoever. But it’s the times when I am able to step outside of myself and my story to create something from a place that I don’t know where it came from. It’s when I create a work like that and it can hit a chord in someone else and when that chord is reflected back at me, thats why i choose to do it on a daily basis.
Leo : I find with the detail of my artwork that I am led into that space, led into that direction. It’s an exploration that quite often I don’t know where it is leading me and its only through finally going through that whole process and considering what I have done, do I come to realize what the journey is that I have been engaged in.
Then I can divine the meaning of what I have created or been led to create. This is what entertains me so much about artwork, about painting, it’s that quite often in this process I see imagery and symbolism appearing again and again and again that others before me have created and it shows me that there is an understanding beyond our personal selves that we can connect to and through which we can arrive at a point of greater understanding.
Carey : Our art is simply a process of ego dissolution, we release and we surrender and we let go. All these energies and impulses come through us, and through that what occurs is a connection to the holographic continuum that is everything. Through that people have the opportunity to resonate or reflect with what comes through. When they see something and they can recognize and acknowledge that it is a part of themselves, then they see a connection there and recognize that they are connected to the artists in a way that is beyond the physical. Through that our intention is to show how people are connected to the entire sphere of consciousness. Thus we are all connected in that sphere of consciousness and thus we are all connected to each other and everything. The primary intention in my own art is to reveal the connection that we have with everything, i think thats the schizm that occurred millennia ago that has caused all the problems that we see on the planet right now. With so much of the visionary art that is coming through, its intention is to heal the schizm, to restore the harmony that our planet has the potential to experience, and to create this place of everyone living together and the whole universe being in a complete state of harmony. I think the art we are creating is one of the most powerful ways to convey that interconnectivity that is so crucial today for healing what is happening right right. It really has the ability to penetrate deep into the unveiling walls of our ego and create that cellular change and that shift is where it needs to occur on an individual level, on a community level and beyond beyond beyond. Crystalizing intention to create that awareness of interconnectivity is what a lot of the visionary art is about, To show how we are all connected through the symbology, the forms, and the connection to nature, that we are all one and we are all doing this together. We are all co-creating this dream together.
Daphne : We have been talking about art as a form of, and catalyst for, the emerging culture. Boom and other festivals are like a playground for experimenting with what it might look like when we all come together out of our studios and out of our different places where we create this art in order to share in this one space with all these different forms of art. I wondered if any of you had any visions of what that might be like in the future with art, especially within community and the different forms of art from performance to visionary art to whatever you see within community.
Laurence : I want to share with you a revelation I had not too long ago when I was at the world psychedelic forum in Basil. At the end of that forum they had a trance party on a boat. On the hull of a boat where the dancefloor was they managed to bring visionary art and trance music together in a way that just blew my mind. I was on the danceloor and I was moving with the music. They were thematically moving the entire evening through the psychedelic book of the dead, there was text at the bottom of the screens saying ‘ oh noble brother do not be afraid’. I would move into the next dimension with the music which was around me from five speakers and with the images that were projected onto five screens throughout the space. There I was seeing images from Robert Venosa, Martina Hoffmann, and Andrew Gonzalez. As the evening got darker we began to move into images from Giger. I’m not just standing still before a painting just staring at it, I am experiencing it in my total sensual framework; I am dancing, I am moving and its everywhere I turn, its moving with the music. This is a kind of ‘Total Work’ where you bring the art and the music and the rapture of dance together in one experience. I think that is where we are trying to head. In the future the vj and the artist and the dj will all start to work together closer and closer. We are moving towards a unity of vision which becomes a perfected ritual of rapture that will bring everyone of you to the moment of sacred oneness.
Sylvia : When i first experienced a Crystal and Spore presentation with Naasko, Sijay and Delvin’s work, this collaboration is what really struck me. Subverting the lone hero artist paradigm and moving beyond that into the space in between, the liminal, what’s going on between egos and what can emerge from different media working together. I wanted to hear a little bit about what that experience has been for you, to work collaboratively on paintings or on multimedia expressions.
Leo : When you all start working together there’s a flow, a synergy that starts to happen. It can come together with all art forms, thats when there is another higher level its all taken to where everyone contributes their own creativity and out of it there is something brand new, something greater than the sum of the parts. That’s the future we are heading towards.
Carey : It’s the most important thing to break free from the whole idea of the lone artists working by themselves and creating what they have. It’s all about relationship and interactivity with other people. Boom as well as other festivals are platforms for that potential to be unlocked. we are all here doing our thing together. Through the synergy of all the different art forms coming together, not just the visual but the music and the performance and the costumery. It all works together to creates this loop that powers everyone. We come here to see what we can do together and unlock that potential. My experience at Burning Man is so profound because it is a whole city based on collaboration. You can open up portals when everyone just surrenders their own individual concept of who they are as a creator and frees themselves to create with other people. We create an event called Synergenesis in San Francisco which is basically fueled by that idea of bringing everybody together in a concentrated environment of music and art and see what we can create. It’s so beautiful to see how much unlocked energy that we can tap into my collaborating and releasing our own individual ideas about what we are supposed to do here.
Delvin : It is a time of great transition for our civilization. The planetary art cultures are a celebration of what is past and what is possible, a shamanic bridge between presence and futures. Entheo art is both a vision and a vehicle for spirit, let it invoke a return to a deeper connectedness between the inspired spiritual life of creative production and the textured material life of the approaching technofuturism. Art is a form of life and its working with us to shape the very fabric of what’s to come.
I also found a few interesting blog posts about the event made by my co-panelists:
Leo Plaw: The Visionary Art Culture Creators Matrix that is the Liminal Village – Boom 2008
Erik Davis (via DoseNation): Boom Festival 2008
Delvin Solkinson: 1.0 Pod Outreach Education : World Culture Creation Strategy
Delvin’s post in particular contains a full description of the planning and building of the Liminal Village, where i worked and spent most of my time. His post also includes several of my photos from the event.