An Interview With Problem Glyphs’ Eliza Gauger

If you look at the painting, illustration, and figure drawing work of Eliza Gauger, you wouldn’t be wrong if you thought you saw the visual influence of the likes of Egon Schiele, and an overall thematic investigation of the grotesque. Additionally, Gauger’s work on the absurdist Jerk City comic showcases a familiarity with both Dadaism and meme culture, but basically the opposite of how pretentious that makes it sound. On top of visual art, Gauger has done work in music and been an active and charismatic figure online for over a decade. But the project that’s been taking up the majority of their time, lately, has much more in common with chaos magick and the works of Austin Osman Spare than their previous endeavours.

Since 2013 Gauger has been creating Problem Glyphs, through the process of leaving their Tumblr ask box open to anonymous comments, and reading the problems of those who offered them up. Gauger then created visual representations of sigilized imagery, meant to evoke the shape of and the path through the issue. I’ll let them tell you more about it, below, but the long and the short of it is, Problem Glyphs were a runaway success.

As the questions kept pouring in, it eventually became clear that Gauger had struck a current, and that a massively cathartic process was being shared by many people, and now, three years later, a book collection is being developed. From the Kickstarter campaign:

The Problem Glyphs art book contains 100 glyphs and their associated submissions, accompanied by an introduction by Eliza Gauger and a foreword by award-winning writer, Warren Ellis. Problem Glyphs will be a premium edition, display-worthy art book, measuring 10×12″ and featuring a Smyth sewn, genuine clothbound hard cover with gold foil-stamped cover illustrations. The estimated 220 interior pages will be printed on beautiful matte coated art paper. Tremendous care has gone into every aspect of the book, from its binding to its typography, the beautiful and storied Doves Type.

I got the chance to have a tarot-based conversation with Eliza Gauger, to discuss the origins, impact, and future of Problem Glyphs.

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Grant Morrison Stuff on Pop Image

I was just going to add this as a comment to the earlier Grant Morrison interview, but I think there’s enough going on here to warrant its own post. Grant Morrison interview:

‘Sigil’ as a word is out of date. All this magic stuff needs new terminology because it’s not what people are being told it is at all. It’s not all this wearying symbolic misdirection that’s being dragged up from the Victorian Age, when no-one was allowed to talk plainly and everything was in coy poetic code. The world’s at a crisis point and it’s time to stop bullshitting around with Qabalah and Thelema and Chaos and Information and all the rest of the metaphoric smoke and mirrors designed to make the rubes think magicians are ‘special’ people with special powers. It’s not like that. Everyone does magic all the time in different ways. ‘Life’ plus ‘significance’ = magic. See Pop Mag!c for more.

Perhaps “Hyperstition“?

There’s also an interview with Human Traffic writer Craig McGill who is working on a biography of Morrison.

Grant comes from Govan – which is a hellhole in Glasgow. It’s truly one of the most deprived parts of the city and also the country – terrible housing, squalor. I mean politicians have written off a lot of these people – something for which I think some of them should be brought up on charges of dereliction of duty for. Not many go to
University, many more end up with drug habits, poor health. For many, social aspirations is getting their next benefit cheque or being a drug dealer. Basically, there’s not much hope and what there is can be snuffed out by day-to-day life. That’s not to say there’s not a lot of good people there – there are, but the environment they are in stacks the odds against them.

Grant came from that and more or less off his own back, is now mingling with celebrities and is relatively comfortable. Don’t get me wrong, he probably couldn’t afford to stop working tomorrow and never type again, but he owns a quality house and is certainly doing a lot better than many from his generation. In his own way he’s a role model. He shows that there’s a way out. You can live your dreams, even if you can’t go down the traditional route of being a sportsman. We should be shouting about people like Grant from the rooftops. He’s the boy who done good. Now I know he’s not unique by any stretch of the imagination in that regard, but it never hurts to highlight another success tale.

And there’s also an interview with the Filth artist Chris Weston and a review of Anarchy for the Masses

Magick made easy!

Ramiel posted this on the Barbelith forum while back: a java program for creating sigils. For some more info on making sigils check out Grant Morrison’s article about sigils and Chaos Matrix’s sigil basics.

Update: The Java based one is gone, but here’s a Flash based one.

And here’s a 3D Java one.

And one done in PHP.

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