This site contains detailed scans of a few of Paul Laffoley’s paintings, less detailed scans of many other pieces, and some interviews. And a picture of Jason Louv and Richard Metzger in front of a couple of Laffoley pieces at Metzger’s apartment.
Xenex.org interviews my pal Jason:
I was seeing bubbling up among my friends, in occult circles and in various forward-thinking corners of the Internet, which was this post-Chaos Magick impulse of “great, we’ve grown up in this culture saturated with the secrets of magic that have all been released and made public and are now available in every Borders – now how do we assemble some kind of meaningful lifestyle out of this, how do we actually implement this in a way that improves the quality of life on this planet and isn’t just the same old bullshit or playing of dress-up?” So it’s my hope with Generation Hex to expand and further that dialogue, and turn on some new people in the process, of course.
Daniel Pinchbeck, and the fine folks at FutureHi, are starting a project called Metacine: a Magazine for the New Edge. It’s about stuff like Burning Man and, like Future Hi, “new” psychedelic culture.
It sounds a lot like Mondo 2000, a magazine for the new edge that ran sporadically from the late 80s (under the title Reality Hackers) until around 1997. It had articles about Burning Man, raves, designer drugs, smart drugs, etc. and basically spawned the magazine Wired. Burning Man’s been going for nearly 2 decades now. Nothing new there. All the sustainable bio future stuff they’re talking about on the Metacine web site? Sounds like Mother Earth News or the Whole Earth Catalog.
So what’s “new edge” about all of this? I don’t think there’s anything wrong with any of what they’re doing. I’m excited about all of it, honestly. But trying to package it up as some sort of new movement sounds like journalese to me. I’ve been as guilty as anyone else about this. Just look through the Technoccult archives and you’ll find plenty of evidence.
Why this obsession with doing “new” things? Finding the trends, the edge, blah blah blah blah blah. Seems like we’re all still stuck in the past, rambling about sustainable energy and Leary’s 8 circuit model and all that. But is that really such a bad thing?
Then there’s Jason Louv’s attempt to create a new occult ultraculture. Rather than trying to document a new culture, Jason’s trying to will a new one into existence with his book. I admire what he’s doing, and I know he’s doing it for the right reasons. He wants to see a new generation of socially consciousness occultists. It actually reminds me a lot of Terrence McKenna’s stuff though, about the role of shaman as a healer for the community. McKenna called his vision of the future an “archaic revival,” because everything he expected to occur was actually ancient.
Don’t get me wrong, I have a lot of respect for Jason and for the Future-Hi cats, and I’m sure Pinchbeck has the best intentions. I’ll be pre-ordered Generation Hex and will probably be a Metacine subscriber. But I’m worried that an obsession with novelty and “the next big thing” will only hurt all our long term goals, stunt our personal development by making us trend whores, and blind us to realms of less glamorous possibility.
Jason talks Generation Hex and ultraculture:
Ultimately you can see the Hex-Effect already happening?the release of the book will only intensify it. Key23.net is a good example of what I imagined the forms this movement would take initially, and an inspiration at that. The next step is to take this crazy dream into the physical. I believe the Internet really has become another control system?it’s up to us to use it, not the other way around. Because ultimately, if it’s not happening in the streets, than it’s not happening. And I have nothing but boundless faith that it’s happening. You can see it already. The goals of this emergent Ultraculture are simple?a way of living that is self-defined, not imposed; in which compassion is both the path and the destination; in which hopeful action conquers apocalyptic paralysis; and in which “reality” poses no obstruction.
And when it comes to “ultraculture” don’t forget Arthur Magazine.