Adventures in Esoterica
Come and join me in New York as I tell tales and reflect on two decades of covering esoterica and the cultural fringe.
In over two decades of writing and speaking, I have explored the codes—spiritual, cultural, and embodied—that people use to escape the limitations of their lives and enrich their experience of the world. As represented in my new book Nomad Codes (Yeti Books), these topics include Asian religious traditions and West African trickster gods, Western occult and esoteric lore, postmodern theory and psychedelic science, as well as festival scenes such as Goa and Burning Man, of which I remain one of the earliest and best-known chroniclers. Articles on media technology further explore themes I took up in my book Techgnosis, while my profiles of West Coast poets, musicians, and mystics extend the California terrain I previously mapped in The Visionary State.
Here's a note about the book from my publisher:
"Whether his subject is collage art or the “magickal realism” of horror writer H.P. Lovecraft, transvestite Burmese spirit mediums or Ufology, tripster king Terence McKenna or dub maestro Lee Perry, Erik Davis's work is infused with keen yet skeptical sympathy, intellectual subtlety and wit, and unbridled curiosity. The common thread running through all his interests is occulture, or what he calls “modern esoterica,” which he describes in the preface as a ‘no-man’s-land located somewhere between anthropology and mystical pulp, between the zendo and the metal club, between cultural criticism and extraordinary experience, whether psychedelic, or yogic, or technological.” Such an ambiguous and startling landscape demands that the intrepid adventurer shed any territorial claims and go nomad. Erik Davis has learned to wander with sharp eyes and an open mind, which is why Peter Lamborn Wilson calls him 'the best of all guides to modern American spirituality'"
Erik Davis at The Observatory, 543 Union Street, Brooklyn.
Saturday, September 25. 8pm. $5.