Urban Qliphoth And The English Aghora
The aim of this research project is:
1] To tie in the work of Kenneth Grant and JG Ballard.
In doing so, we will attempt to render a modern adumbration of the Qliphoth extrapolating Grant’s research in such a way that the toxic matter of JG Ballard’s work of the 60 and 70s can be construed as an attempt by the author to deal with materials and landscapes synonymous in modern context with the regions and sentinels explored by Grant.
2] To define and explore buildings that can be used to represent this urban qliphoth.
The Qliphoth in its simplest definition by Grant can be considered as shells. The shell in Grant’s lexicon a spectre foremost, but in our research we will endeavour to vivify both the tenements inhabited by these spectre and the wraiths leftover by these buildings. The buildings are haunted by their ghosts and the ghosts themselves haunted by these buildings.
What constitutes a Qliphothic building?
Psychiatric hospitals, military establishments, nuclear facilities, borstals... places of violent intent, institutions replete with memories of psychic illth. The term illth comes from Ruskin and has been employed by Robert Anton Wilson to describe “all the changes in the environment that are detrimental to humanity and/or to life itself. Weaponry, then, should be classed as illth, not wealth.”
In other words buildings in which a vast amount of capital that has been invested in the pursuit of destruction and the retention of the diseased.
As Illth moves on to usurp our wealth at more insidious and homogenous hinterlands of retail park and anonymous leisuredome, so these older institutions are left behind, curiously exotic like elephanta temples, inscribed with the bruised graffiti of their inmates, wrapped in vines and thorns, places of dangerous play, the fairytale castles for a ludic tomorrow.
By re-appropriating this surfeit of illth into new dark hobbies, we aim to transmute the freedom offered by our urban qliphoth into a currency of imaginary wealth, pursuits unencumbered by the situationist paradox of leisure time spent in dawn of the dead like consumerism...
3] To work with the tantric discipline of Aghora to engage with the spectres trapped there - like zombie inhabitants of a houngan’s canari - to work with the diseases contained therein and reaffirm these Smashans as realms of beauty and places of inherent magic. To explore the essential mystical psychopathology of the Aghoric world view that the closer we keep company with death, the more we embrace life... To realise of form of gnosis that uses the nostalgia and romance imbued within these facilities and treat this emotional essences and glamours as a form of ceremonial enhancer. The waft of decay from fetid corridors becomes the incense for new a type of ritual. A real tantra for today.
Aghora practice Sadhana in haunted buildings and as such we need to update the notion of haunted from the clichés of headless tudor halls to more jarring and appropriate realms of forensic jouissance.