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  • Dameron Codds

Let's Beat Baphomet to a Pulp (Occultism Makes Bad Art)

It has been a while since I posted. The body that funds my post-doctoral research has had me jump through an increasingly absurd number of bureaucratic hoops in order to publish my findings. Suffice to say, they have decided to censor a large portion of my work - only allowing me to make public certain tidbits so long as they don't communicate the finer details of my research into Cameron Dodds and what may have happened to him. The following text was found In London on the number 36 bus scribbled on the back of a Londis receipt (dated 15/11/22 and for the purchase of 1x Mr Tom peanut bar, 1 X tin chopped tomatoes, 1x can coke zero, 1x can 0% alcohol Guinness, and 1x scratch card) in maddeningly small writing and, therefore, the funding body and the HNRI have considered it public domain. I believe it to have been written by Dodds on the grounds that the shop is less than two minutes walking distance from his old flat and that it makes clear allusions to his PhD thesis but so far have not been able to verify this theory. I present here the text in full.

"I am increasingly aware that these theorists and proponents of magic and the occult tend to make very bad art. They seem to be caught up in the imagistic simulacra of Baphomet or the new-age concretized metaphors of Jung et al. This is my main concern with my own work and its relationship to both unconscious processes and wider unconscious forces- I would hate for it to get caught up in the dreamed theories of someone else's making; to drown in the soupy milieu of what is essentially candied-headshop-3D-fairyscape-pornographia. I am glad that I fell upon this idea of pre and post-linguistic models[1], but still - I must be careful of trapping myself within the shell of psychoanalytic metaphorism which is just the shadow of positivist literalism. Both reveal dangerous deviations from my path, tempting sirens that attempt to lure my work into the orgiastic ritual of cyclical familiarity and conceited aphorism. The path of the weird lies in the cracks between understanding (both conscious and unconscious), the synchronous meeting of both deep past and speculative future, before and after finitude[2]. Perhaps fiction is more powerful than the imaginal purely because it wields the power to fiction imagination itself - subverting the need to literalise the eschaton or pull down its apocalyptical weight into heady and decadent verisimilitude.

(Aside: I presume this is why I feel less drawn to the symbolic ramifications of ritual and more to the a/causality [or fictioned a/causality] of manifestation).

Perhaps this whole project is a work of temporal-based magic (neè individuation). I am concerned about presenting a concrete theory of magic to work from as this, again, feels like Faustian bargaining with my own schizo-trappings (fear of staring, aesthetic anxieties). I am more tempted to say that this whole project creates a spatial/temporal/linguistic/post-medium/interdisciplinary/multimedia grimoire that is itself a work of living, breathing (but also dead – we must always embrace paradox at all costs as this is where all tension is created!) research.

Unlike traditional research projects; I doubt this one should ever be analysed after the fact. The work must be defined by its “coming into existence as an object” rather than by the philosophical justification of said object. All that needs to be revealed will be revealed. There are no coincidences.”

[1] Codds: I'm not sure what he means by this, but it eerily echoes my own theories expanded upon in my PhD thesis on Dodds. [2] Referring here to Quentin Meillassoux’s theories.

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