PsychArtCult Residency at Morbid Anatomy Museum – online, 2021

Psychoanalysis, Art and the Occult: Artificial Intelligence and the Patipolitical Body with Dr. Isabel Millar, and Freud’s Explorations of the Occult with Dr. Vanessa Sinclair, Live on Zoom

  • Sunday, September 5, 2021
  • 2:00 PM – 4:00 PM EDT

Time: 2 pm
Admission: $8 – Tickets HERE

This lecture will take place virtually, via Zoom. Ticket sales will end at 12 pm EDT the day of the lecture. Attendees may request a video recording AFTER the lecture takes place by emailing proof of purchase to info.morbidanatomy@gmail.com. Video recordings are valid for 30 days after the date of the lecture.

Ticketholders: a link to the conference is sent out at 12:30 pm EDT on the day of the event to the email used at checkout. Please add info.morbidanatomy@gmail.com to your contacts to ensure that the event link will not go to spam.

PLEASE NOTE: This lecture will be recorded and available for free for our Patreon members at $5/above. Become a Member HERE.

Tonight, join us as Dr. Vanessa Sinclair and Carl Abrahamsson introduce and kick off Psychoanalysis, Art & the Occult, a curated series of events dedicated to exploring the intersections and integration of psychoanalytic theory, the creative arts, occult practices, and folk magic traditions.

Artificial Intelligence and the Patipolitical Body Dr. Isabel Millar

The body as simultaneously consumed and devouring is the ultimate goal of techno-capitalism. This body is surveilled, codified, isolated, tortured and ultimately kept undead in order to produce and enjoy. After the paradigms of the biopolitical (the production and governance of life) and the necropolitical (the production and governance of the walking dead), Dr. Isabel Millar discerns a patipolitical regime of suffering (from the Latin patior, ‘to suffer’) that aims to produce and govern bodies of extreme jouissance.

How can we imagine a future body that may be produced by potentially limitless augmentation and simulation? Where will this body be able to go and what will it do when it’s there? Or might we just prefer to disappear altogether?  

Freud’s Explorations of the Occult by Dr. Vanessa Sinclair  

In 1953, psychoanalyst and anthropologist George Devereux published a collection of works from various psychoanalysts entitled Psychoanalysis and the Occult, which explored the intersection between the practice of psychoanalysis and occult phenomena, including contributions from  Sigmund Freud on ‘Premonitions and Chance’, ‘Psychoanalysis and Telepathy’, and ‘The Occult  Significance of Dreams’. Additionally, Freud’s paper ‘Notes on the Unconscious’ was published in the journal of the Society for Psychical Research in 1912. At the same time, the topic of the occult was central to the split between Freud and Jung in 1914, as Freud insisted the burgeoning field of psychoanalysis be considered scientific and not spiritualist.

Despite this, Freud maintained an interest in occult phenomena longer than most people realize, conducting thought-transference experiments with his daughter Anna Freud and colleague Sándor Ferenczi, for example. This talk will explore this aspect of his work further.  

Isabel Millar, Ph.D. is a philosopher and cultural critic. Her work focuses on AI, sex, culture, film, and the future. Her book The Psychoanalysis of Artificial Intelligenceis recently published with the Palgrave Lacan Series. Dr. Millar is a research fellow at The Centre for Critical Thought, the  University of Kent and Affiliate of the Global Centre for Advanced Studies (GCAS).  

Vanessa Sinclair, Psy.D. is a psychoanalyst, artist and author based in Sweden. She is the author of  The Pathways of the Heart (Trapart Books, 2021), Scansion in Psychoanalysis and Art: the Cut in  Creation (Routledge, 2020), and Switching Mirrors (Trapart Books, 2016). Dr. Sinclair is Senior  Research Fellow at the Global Centre for Advanced Studies (GCAS) and the host of Rendering  Unconscious Podcast. 

The Psychoanalysis, Art & the Occult series of events, curated by Dr. Vanessa Sinclair and Carl Abrahamsson, is dedicated to exploring the intersections and integration of psychoanalytic theory, the creative arts, occult practices, and folk magic traditions. By inviting psychoanalysts, philosophers, artists, writers, and occult practitioners from a variety of theoretical orientations and worldviews to discuss their work, personal experiences, and areas of research interest with one another, dialogue is opened up between practitioners in fields of study that traditionally rarely engage with one another though often operate in similar and complementary ways.

Psychoanalysis, Art and the Occult: Mary Wild on “Taxidermy in Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho” and Discussion with Anna Biller, Writer and Director of “The Love Witch” & “Viva”

  • Sunday, September 12, 2021
  • 2:00 PM – 4:00 PM EDT

Time: 2 pm EDT
Admission: $8 – Tickets HERE

Part of the Psychoanalysis, Art & the Occult series of events, curated by Dr. Vanessa Sinclair and Carl Abrahamsson

This lecture will take place virtually, via Zoom. Ticket sales will end at 12 pm EDT the day of the lecture. Attendees may request a video recording AFTER the lecture takes place by emailing proof of purchase to info.morbidanatomy@gmail.com. Video recordings are valid for 30 days after the date of the lecture.

Ticketholders: a link to the conference is sent out at 12:30 pm EDT on the day of the event to the email used at checkout. Please add info.morbidanatomy@gmail.com to your contacts to ensure that the event link will not go to spam.

PLEASE NOTE: This lecture will be recorded and available for free for our Patreon members at $5/above. Become a Member HERE.

This event will consist of discussions with Miss Anna Biller, Writer and Director of The Love Witch & Viva, and Mary Wild onTaxidermy in Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho

Anna Biller states, “In my work, I try to combine pure cinema with authentic experience. When I say authentic experience, I mean that I try to directly translate my experience of living in the world into form. My specific concerns are with the lived day-to-day experience of the female. Years ago when I was first starting out as a filmmaker, I became interested in trying to create a cinema based on visual pleasure for women.  

In the interest of pure cinema or ‘proper art’ (which James Joyce defines as art which elicits a state of aesthetic arrest), I try to control everything that goes into the film frame. Thus in my work, I am trying to do something most unusual: to create “proper” art films masquerading as popular films. So while I am quoting genres, I am using them not as pastiche, but to create a sense of aesthetic arrest and to insert a female point of view.”   

Taxidermy in Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho with Mary Wild

A secretary, on the lam after stealing from her employer, travels on the back roads to avoid the  police. She stops for the night at the ramshackle Bates Motel, where she meets the polite but highly  strung proprietor Norman Bates, who has an interest in taxidermy and a difficult relationship with  his mother. 

This talk will focus on the psychoanalytic significance of stuffing and mounting the skins of animals  with lifelike effect in Alfred Hitchcock’s 1960 horror-thriller film Psycho. The proposition is that  the taxidermy impulse is aligned with the ‘deadly’ maternal element played out in Norman Bates’s  fantasy life. 

Anna Biller is a writer and director who creates unique, female-focused, highly visual films. She has a BA from UCLA in art and an MFA from CalArts in art and film. Her first feature Viva played in film festivals all over the world and gained minor cult status, and her second feature The Love Witch won acclaim for its elaborate visual style and feminist themes, and has screened at numerous film festivals worldwide.

Mary Wild is the creator of the PROJECTIONS lecture series at Freud Museum London, applying psychoanalysis to film interpretation. Mary also co-hosts the Projections Podcast.

The Psychoanalysis, Art & the Occult series of events, curated by Dr. Vanessa Sinclair and Carl Abrahamsson, is dedicated to exploring the intersections and integration of psychoanalytic theory, the creative arts, occult practices, and folk magic traditions. By inviting psychoanalysts, philosophers, artists, writers, and occult practitioners from a variety of theoretical orientations and worldviews to discuss their work, personal experiences, and areas of research interest with one another, dialogue is opened up between practitioners in fields of study that traditionally rarely engage with one another though often operate in similar and complementary ways.

Psychoanalysis, Art and the Occult: The Two Antichrists with Peter Grey and Alkistis Dimech of Scarlet Imprint, Live on Zoom

  • Sunday, September 19, 2021
  • 2:00 PM – 4:00 PM

Time: 2 pm EDT
Admission: $8 – Tickets HERE

Opening with considerations on the future of witchcraft and its relation to radical ecology, Grey  returns to the Babalon Working—a series of magic rituals performed in 1946 by occultist, author, and rocket-fuel scientist Jack Parsons and Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard—and considers a series of little examined texts from science fiction and the outer fringes of Scientology which form a  ‘Babalon Apocrypha.’

By reading across these sources, the familiar story is revealed to have hidden depths and dimensions. Exploring the role of Antichrist in relation to Parsons and Hubbard, Grey provides insights into the initiatory drama of Thelema: of Satanic rites, Abyss and Angel.

The Two Antichrists observes the long shadow cast by the monolith of Scientology, and Parsons’ eclipsed confraternity The Witchcraft. Looking to the future, he envisions emergent space witchcraft, infused with the spirit of Do What Thou Wilt.  

Peter Grey is a writer, and the co-founder of Scarlet Imprint. He is the author of The Red Goddess(2007), which has become the standard work on the goddess of Revelation. His Apocalyptic  Witchcraft(2013) has been called the most important modern book on witchcraft, placing it in the mythopoetic context of the sabbat and in a landscape suffering climate and ecological collapse.  

Alkistis Dimech is the co-founder of Scarlet Imprint, for which she is editrix, typographer and book designer. Beyond publishing, she is a dancer and choreographer, whose practice is grounded in butô, which translates as ‘dark dance’ or ‘dance of utter darkness,’ a discipline and philosophy she has pursued since 2002.

Psychoanalysis, Art and the Occult: Dancing in the Graveyard: Death Imagery in Satanism by Blanche Barton and Memento Mori Forever by Carl Abrahamsson

  • Sunday, September 26, 2021
  • 2:00 PM  4:00 PM

Time: 2 pm EDT
Admission: $8 – Tickets HERE

Part of the Psychoanalysis, Art & the Occult series of events, curated by Dr. Vanessa Sinclair and Carl Abrahamsson

This lecture will take place virtually, via Zoom. Ticket sales will end at 12 pm EDT the day of the lecture. Attendees may request a video recording AFTER the lecture takes place by emailing proof of purchase to info.morbidanatomy@gmail.com. Video recordings are valid for 30 days after the date of the lecture.

Ticketholders: a link to the conference is sent out at 12:30 pm EDT on the day of the event to the email used at checkout. Please add info.morbidanatomy@gmail.com to your contacts to ensure that the event link will not go to spam.

Dancing in the Graveyard: Death Imagery in Satanism by Blanche Barton

“Life is the great indulgence—death, the great abstinence. Therefore, make the most of life—HERE AND NOW!”

So reads a phrase from the opening chapter of The Satanic Bible. But if Satanism, true Satanism as defined by Anton LaVey in 1966, is a profoundly life-loving religion, why all the black candles, skulls, and funerary trappings? The use of a coffin in the ceremony known as “L’air Epais—the Ceremony of the Stifling Air”, for example, goes well beyond a simple memento mori to remind ourselves how fleeting is our time here on Earth. The coffin becomes, like the Hanged Man in the tarot, a symbol of both death and transformation.

The Western esoteric tradition indulges in metaphors of magical mastery as a path to explore death, even defeat death, through unholy compacts and infernal congress, with sinister sorcerers and witches tempted by wisdom at the very borders of our understanding. Satanists challenge the boundaries between reality and fantasy with images of dark defiance and heresy, concentrating their power through ritual, challenging the strength of their own creative force, then manifesting that productive drive in the real world.

Ernest Becker, in The Denial of Death, recognized that when a child reaches adolescence and fully confronts the inevitability of his or her own eventual demise, the youth begins casting about for a philosophy that provides a satisfying context in which to place this knowledge. One might successfully argue that all religions are invented to resolve this one issue:  How do we process the inexorable truth of our own mortality? Satanism offers an engraved invitation to the courageous and the curious, to those fatally attracted to the darkest, most dangerous corners of forbidden arcana and scandalous lore, who are driven to dance with the Devil in the moonlight. Let’s glimpse beyond the veil together, shall we?

Memento Mori Forever by Carl Abrahamsson

For the human individual, there is no greater arbiter than death itself. Anxiety and fear are the very shadow-side fundaments of human religiosity, and nowhere is magical thinking as present as in thoughts and emotions touching upon (the fear of) death. One reason why human neurosis reaches ever new heights in contemporary culture is our distancing from death itself, and our painting ourselves into a corner of abstracted and compensatory imagination. How to cope? How to improve this highly detrimental neurosis and its dangerous side effects, such as monotheism?

Carl Abrahamsson is a Swedish author, specialising in Occulture and Magico-anthropology. His books include Resonances (2014), Occulture (2018), The Devil’s Footprint (2020), Sacred Intent (2020), Different People (2021), and Anton LaVey and the Church of Satan (forthcoming). He is also the editor and publisher of the highly renowned anthologies in The Fenris Wolf series.

Blanche Barton is the present Magistra Templi Rex of the Church of Satan, having been a member for 45 years. She is the author of The Secret Life of a Satanist: The Authorized Biography of Anton Szandor LaVey(2014), as well as her most recent book,We Are Satanists: The History and Future of the Church of Satan(2021). She likes long walks on the beach and summoning chthonic forces to unleash their unholy terrors upon an unsuspecting world.  

The Psychoanalysis, Art & the Occult series of events, curated by Dr. Vanessa Sinclair and Carl Abrahamsson, is dedicated to exploring the intersections and integration of psychoanalytic theory, the creative arts, occult practices, and folk magic traditions. By inviting psychoanalysts, philosophers, artists, writers, and occult practitioners from a variety of theoretical orientations and worldviews to discuss their work, personal experiences, and areas of research interest with one another, dialogue is opened up between practitioners in fields of study that traditionally rarely engage with one another though often operate in similar and complementary ways.

Photo by Carl Abrahamsson

Psychoanalysis, Art and the Occult: Blanche Barton on Death Imagery in Satanism and Carl Abrahamsson presents Memento Mori Forever, Live on Zoom