Modern masters like Alan Moore have often said that “art is magick because art transforms consciousness.” Although there are an increasing amount of psychedelic bands and visual artists working in the medium, none that I’m currently aware of take to their craft with the specific intent of potentially inducing spiritual epiphany in the viewer/listener, which is what the Occult films of Chapel Supremesus (myself and Dean Swanson) strive for. It’s a path I personally started treading at around age 19 by throwing cut-up, mind-fuck mixes together with a $100 sampler and a cheap cassette 4 track. At the time I was years away from my Occult awakening, but crafting bedroom auditory sorcery solely for the purpose of warping my own internal microverse struck me as the most natural way of communing with the great beyond that I could think of. I was compelled to the craft from a very young age instinctively and as it turns out, so was Mr. Swanson.
Ever since there have been people, shamans have been using song to calculatedly induce visionary experience in others, but these days we have quite a bit more firepower at our disposal. Back in the sixties, scientific luminaries like Timothy Leary concluded that the factors of set and setting ultimately determine the efficacy of a given trip, but despite the fact that psychedelic drugs are now being studied again in an academic setting, zero experimentation is being conducted as to how to best tweak those variables for maximum potency. And so the pursuit of chemically enhanced spiritual technology falls to rebels and outlaws unbound by the restrictions of traditional societal institutions.
In the past, I’ve personally conducted experiments on myself as to how specified hyper-maximalist sound patterns can induce visionary experience. I used a fairly simple protocol. I took a minor dose of psilocybin and then played one of my albums to determine whether or not it was more the drug or the music causing the otherworldly deluge of information. What I found was that due to the low dosage, zero prototypical higher dimensional visions were afoot, but after I put on the music, a cavalcade of otherworldly high strangeness broke through including a swirling sentient portal opening up on the floor. The second the mix ended, the visions receded and the portal closed, shoring up the fact that it was clearly a combination of the two factors causing the profound perceptional distortion. So it works on me, but I’ve always wondered if it was too specified to my personal consciousness to work on others. Of course, figuring this out would require convincing someone else to try such an arcane Occult experiment on themselves, and as it turns out, I didn’t have to convince anyone as one day I got this message from a fan on Facebook in regards to our first film (which you can check out here):
“Sat down and watched Supervisitors while on 2 hits of acid past weekend and I must say… It definitely summoned a profound experience for me. After I finished the video I sat in teary eyed awe and noticed that the visuals I was having began to peak. I watched the room I was in become living breathing consciousness, which I’ve only had happen a few times on LSD, that’s when I noticed a misty white smoke surround me. At first I thought I was simply pot smoke floating around the room but I then remembered that I hadn’t taken a toke since the start of Supervisitors. This misty white smoke, like that of a burning incense, began presenting itself to me in different patterns. The main one it showed me was the classic flying saucer shape, I guess it was its favorite. Then it basically told me that it/me/them was the Holy Ghost and that the only words to describe me are spoken in the language of the tongue. It was intensely spiritually refreshing and gave my intuition a steroid injection of understanding. Good times.”
Fantastic and indicates to me that I’m apparently onto something with the whole “art as spiritual technology” angle I’ve been pursuing most of my adult life. Even more fascinating that the message this sentient mist imparted on the young man was nearly identical to things that have been shown to me in various magickal encounters, as I’m literally trying to put the viewer in touch with the fringe dimensions of thought I’m tied to.
Which brings me to our new movie July 23rd, 1973. Much like (visitors) Supervisitors, a sex magick narrative weaved itself into the footage by means of the cut up process we used to create it. Without trying, we made a film about the merging of sex, death, and technology and how the combination of these things can potentially facilitate the evolution of consciousness. Another way of putting that would be, it’s a film about the future of spiritual technology that is in itself intended to be a work of spiritual technology…compiled from the films of the past. The further in you go, the deeper it gets. I could use a billion words to describe what it’s like to get in my head during a ganj-i-tation trance or hallucinogenic frenzy, but they’d fall a bit short of just showing you this. I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again, magick should involve the evolution of language toward telepathy and this film is communicating mystical themes to the viewer at an almost subconscious level.
July 23rd, 1973 is of course the day Robert Anton Wilson “achieved contact with an extraterrestrial from Sirius” after performing an acid Occult ritual the night before and that’s where it gets more than a bit synchronous. It wasn’t until after we settled on that title and dismissed several others that we realized the first day we got together to start working on the music end of the project was July 23rd, 2012. No shit. Anyway, I’ve probably already said enough, so just sit back enjoy. Use of marijuana and/or hallucinogens to aid your viewing experience not necessary, but strongly encouraged. It’ll make your head explode I promise.