Art and Contemplation with JF Martel

As someone who blends art, magic, and technology (with magic occupying the apex of that triangle), I think a lot about the art of magic and art of technology, the magic of art and magic of technology, and the technology of art and technology of magic; and the differences and similarities between art, artifice, and artifact. Many of my thoughts about art — including so-called new media art — already correspond with magic, the numinous, and the (in many cases literal) manifestation of spirit in matter (or reification of spirit via techne), and include aspects of Chumbley’s and Schulke’s Sabbatic Witchcraft; Otto’s mysterium tremendum et fascinans; Harpur’s daimonic reality; Snell’s cyber-animism; DeLanda’s (Deleuzian and Guattarian) machinic phylum; Baudrillard’s hyperreality; Dufrenne’s phenomenology of aesthetic experience; Artaud’s Theatre of Cruelty; &c., and of course the eldritch tales of H.P. Lovecraft and Clark Ashton Smith.

Recently, the Weird Studies podcast hosted by Phil Ford and JF Martel turned me on to the latter’s book, Reclaiming Art in the Age of Artifice. The book and podcast are both quite validating and network-expanding as Martel and Ford cover much familiar (to me) ground in both familiar and unfamiliar ways, and voyage to places hitherto unknown to me. Martel will be teaching an eight-week, online course titled Art and Contemplation, beginning next week. I have enrolled and am looking forward to learning more from him. From what I have witnessed so far, he really embodies my favorite verse from the Emerald Tablet: “Separabis terram ab igne, subtile ab spisso, suaviter cum magno ingenio (Thou shalt separate the earth from the fire, the subtle from the gross, suavely, and with great ingenuity).”

If you are interested in registering for the course, click here, or if you would like more information first, check these out (check them out even if you are not interested in the course):