Wednesday, 16 February 2011

Artist's Elate - Biogentic Archive

We were absolutely chuffed when after interviewing Elate for Issue 6, we discovered that not only is he seriously switched on, but he is also a wonderfully talented writer. We had a chat with him about joining the team here at LSD, and his first dispatch from the edges of consciousness was this fascinating insight into the Biogenetic Archive of human archetype and a merry dance through that shadowy world where myth, legend, symbolism, history and creativity meet. The full article is in Issue 6 - linked below.

In this age of contrived and controlled ‘Urban/New Contemporary Art’ and only slightly less contrived and controlled ‘Reality TV’ we find free expression so dumbed down that hard won skill, infused contemplation and virtuosity can be deemed irrelevant, while reflected glory, vain posturing, cronyism, manipulation, reappropriation, self aggrandisement, and hype are the highly prized and lauded attributes of the big go-getters; the result?

Intuitive insight is all but forgotten behind a facade of carefully PRed ‘anti-heroes’, insipid illustration, vacuous idiosyncrasy, cloying sentimentality and rebranded pop tack. This leaves only one possible choice for my first contribution to this magazine; a strong antidote to the poisonous vanity and empowered inadequacy that has dumbed down art thus; a reminder of the ever-present timeless in a sea of transience, a heroic odyssey back to the dawn of life, to infinity and beyond into that everlasting present that is the ‘Other World’.

“...nature has endowed man with "three brains", which despite their completely different structures have to function together and maintain contact. According to this view, the oldest of our brains is reptilian, the second was inherited from the lower mammals, and the third is the achievement of the higher mammals. This is the one that turned the living creature into man. So, figuratively speaking, when a doctor invites his patient to lie down on a couch, he is dealing simultaneously with a human being, a horse and a crocodile.” Dialectical Materialism (A. Spirkin)

Deep beneath the layers of consciousness we have evolved over millennia to navigate civilisation, society and identity; we have access to a timeless, astonishingly beautiful realm of jewelled splendour, comprised of geometric patterns, fantastic luminous objects and landscapes shining with supernatural light. A biogenetic archive of things that continually change into ever more beautiful things; the “landscape of such surpassing beauty that words cannot describe it”, recalled by Aldous Huxley “The D.N.A memory coiling back to the dawn of life” described by Robert Anton Wilson, the “Akashic Records” of Occult lore, and the “Non-local Frequency Domain” of Quantum Physics.

Such states of consciousness have been experienced worldwide throughout history, are described in the religious texts of every faith, and appear to have been involved in the birth and development of virtually every belief system. They have been experienced by people of every age, race and background and are consequently described in innumerable ways. Many who tell of such experiences, speak of a profound empathy with, and understanding of, the Universe; this accompanies the dissolution of the personal identity; ego death. Dramatic shifts occur in perception of space and time, both often ceasing to exist. Experience is no longer ‘separated’ by the five senses, a phenomenon known as synaesthesia. “One sees the old and familiar in a new and strange way...” writes Dr R.D. Laing, “...often as though for the first time. Ones old moorings are lost. One goes back in time. One is embarked on the oldest voyage in the world.”

It is widely accepted that such states not only {7} allow waking access to the unconscious mind, but also to the ‘collective unconscious’ or group mind “a second psychic system of a collective, universal, and impersonal nature which is identical in all individuals. This collective unconscious does not develop individually but is inherited. It consists of pre- existent forms, the archetypes, which can only become conscious secondarily and which give definite form to certain psychic contents”
Certain schools of thought believe, and empirical data would suggest, that this awareness extends beyond the archetypes into the universe itself, unlocking all experience, animal, vegetable, mineral and cosmic, even mythical; all life in fact, all the way from the consciousness of a single atom, to the consciousness of the whole of creation. Subjects sometimes produce otherwise unknowable and checkable information under laboratory conditions; the ultimate ‘information superhighway’. The discovery of DNA and its double-helix architecture by Crick while he was tripping on LSD is probably the most famous example of this. He later won a Nobel prize for his insight. This is but one way of initiating the state - there are countless others

Throughout history, those reporting experience of such states have been treated in a variety of ways, from being tortured then burned alive by the ‘Holy Inquisition’, worshipped as prophets and saints, locked away as dangerous criminals or madmen, or more recently (always overlooking such deviations), regarded as the greatest writers, scientists and recording artists and being awarded O.B.E s and other such baubles of establishment approval. So then, in our current climate of ‘scientific understanding’, in which so much can be verified and quantified, such important states, which defy many such attempts by their very nature, are overlooked and ignored by those who could gain most from the understanding that can be gained from their experience.

For millennia early man roamed the earth, nature his unchallenged master, all that met the eye its’ savage state, he had little personal control over that which met his gaze and none over the dramatic vista and elemental fury from which he scratched his survival. Thus, the first art was an act of taking possession, to lessen the huge gap separating him and nature and the according terror that confronted him. He placed thereon his mark in two main ways, the scratching or daubing of shapes onto a surface or the reappropriation of ‘found objects’ such as shells, bones, evocatively shaped sticks or stones that would have been taken from their place of discovery and given new context in a shelter or favoured space, thus giving him some small symbolic semblance of control over nature.


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