News from the Sun: On the Search for a Politics of Revelation

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Throughout the 20th century, artists experimented with various visionary
methods of producing a revelation. This was attempts at accessing the radical new by combining what was in unexpected ways so to break through consensus reality and create messages with no relation to either subject, history or genius.
Inspired by the alchemists of yore, the surrealists juxtaposed heterogeneous
elements to create a marvelous dreamscape while Brion Gysin and William Burroughs used the cut-up to not only rewrite the past but also create a mythylogy for the space age. This exploration of chance operations went
hand in hand with a search to not only mutate the body, make it into a ‘body
of light,’ become immortal, or in other ways force evolution, but also to discover
a new way of thinking and, thus, evolve consciousness to become ‘cosmic’ or
This paper will discuss some of the aspects of this two-fold attack on the
category of the human. If mutating the body is the means, what is an end? What
is the new way of thinking and how can it influence evolution? These questions will be explored through ideas drawn from alchemy, theosophy, Cosmism, Burroughs, Gysin as well as Timothy Leary’s and Robert Anton Wilson’s SMI2LE-project (Space Migration, Increased Intelligence, Life
The paper will argue that these examples can be thought of as a type of mystical
utopianism, fueled by a reoccurence of gnostic ideas in the modernist avant-garde, and concerned with producing myths for the near future to ignite a visionary type of politics, which is based on praxis, experiments and revelations as well as directly connected to an ecstatic vision of new types of being, new types of living together as well as a new relation to
Original languageEnglish
Publication date13 Sep 2019
Publication statusPublished - 13 Sep 2019
EventTrans- States 2: The Art of Revelation - University of Northampton, Northampton, United Kingdom
Duration: 13 Sep 201914 Sep 2019


ConferenceTrans- States 2
LocationUniversity of Northampton
CountryUnited Kingdom
Internet address

ID: 235588656