Erik Davis'

NEW: "Roots and Wires": Polyrhythmic Cyberspace and the Black Electronic

Good dub sounds like the recording studio itself has begun to hallucinate.

...Drum'n'bass is on the verge of unfolding some strange new non-Euclidian dimension, as cyborgs like Photek, 4 Hero, or DJ Peshay painstakingly engineer an abstract space-time architecture from nano-beats that have been spliced and diced in a digital cuisanart.

Tongues of Fire, Whirlwinds of Noise: Images of Spiritual Information

Spiritual information is not restricted to occult correspondences piled on until the mind is blown. Sometimes information comes unbeckoned, a gnostic blast from beyond: inner voices, crystalline dreams, a book opened at random.

Of all Western mystical traditions, the deep contemplation of the transcendent form of the Logos may be the one most equivalent to munching a handful of pure Sandoz sugarcubes and staring at an empty wall

Trickster at the Crossroads: West Africa's God of Messages, Sex and Deceit

Eshu is a trickster not just because he fools people and creates chaos, but because he's always escaping the codes of the world.

Eshu fully embodies the sophisticated metaphysics of West Africa, a metaphysics of change and communication, of the copulation between being and world, of the complex power of the crossroads. Eshu expresses a spiritual principle of connection, and the chaos and trickiness of exchange.

A Computer, A Universe: Mapping an Online Cosmology

Cyberspace tapped into desires far older than digital computers: mystical urges for total awareness, magical urges for total information control. With its infinite boundaries and its vast hierarchy of galaxies and constellations, roads and cities, cyberspace is more than a map--it's a cosmos.

While computers have jacked up the pace of global change, intensifying the rush of passing time, they nonetheless offer the paradox of total retention, absolute memory.

Teenage Head: Confessions of a High School Stoner

We were immersed in an educational system whose ultimate goal is filling in little round circles with No. 2 pencils, and drugs actually offered a crooked avenue to resourceful, independent problem-solving.

LSD turns the mind into a kind of silly putty, lifting images from a comic-book world and then twisting them alternately into hilarious caricatures or resonant archetypes.

Terminal Beach Party: The Burning Man, USA, 1995

The Man is utterly still in the chaos that swirls below him, as hordes of Left Coast anarchists, acidheads, gun nuts, ravers and technopagans jerry-build an art brut nomad town across the playa: a turbulent array of art cars, RVs, camouflage nets, fake palm trees, generators, flags, fires and candelabrums that evolves like some Road Warrior knock-off of SimCity.

I found myself going native as well, and though I basically restricted my pharmocological diet to alcohol and cigars, I kept bumping into deja vus, flashbacks, and dreamscapes.

Sampling Paradise: The Technofreak Legacy of Golden Goa

It's one hour past midnight, and the jungle throbs with techno. The tropical breeze off the Arabian Sea is warm and wet. I stuff a wad of rupees into the outstretched palm of the auto-rickshaw taxi-driver, and head toward the noise. I'm 350 kilometers south of Bombay, in India's coastal state of Goa, and I'm about to hit a rave.

"I'm using this party situation as a medium to do magic, to remake the tribal pagan ritual for the 21st century. It's not just a disco under the coconut trees."

Surfing the Indranet: Lance Daybreak's Digital Dharma

For a moment, I felt the trace of that cosmic awe that used to overcome me as a child, when I'd lie awake at night and try to wrap my mind around the notion of infinity, repeating the mantra "the universe never ends" until my mind cracked and the void spilled in.

"When we cruise the Internet, whatever server we're checking out isn't just 'on' the Net--it is the Net, drawing the whole dizzying tapestry into being. In a network without a center, you are always the center."

Shards of the Diamond Matrix: Selections from the Notebooks of Lance Daybreak

The Virtuous Ones wandered on foot or horseback through the "Folds:" the high passes, hidden valleys, and endless plateaus of their severe mountain surroundings. But Daybreak's descriptions also make it clear that for the Virtuals, this bleak physical environment "unfolded" into an abstract, visionary realm, a constantly-shifting locus of cosmic memory and oracular landscapes haunted by demons, "alien gods" and insectoid Buddhas.

"The path is a network of paths, a plateau. One can not "follow" a network, but must constantly probe it."

Barbed Wire Net: Online After the Oklahoma Bombing

Charged with emotions bordering on atavism and whipped up by the unholy speed of information exchange, a host of demons, fetishes and vengeful archetypes crawl onstage straight from white America's political unconscious.

Whole scenarios scrolled up my screen like the apocalyptic prophecies they were, visions of roadblocks and Internet shut-downs and confiscated weapons and invasions of UN troops.

My Favorite Martians: A UFO Epistemology

The UFO is part of a package deal--a rumor of god stitched into the dark web of our military-industrial-media complex.

In the information age, marginal data and rumors sipped from underground springs can bend the mind as decisively as any drug.

Remains of the Deities: Reading the Return of Paganism

Though generalizing about such a ragtag crew is like painting a rainforest with one shade of green, it can be said that all Pagans, recognizing humans as little more than animals with particularly swelled heads, seek to plug themselves into the imaginative and energetic matrix of nature.

Their emphasis on pragmatism may seem paradoxical to some, but Pagans are more positivist than you think--they just expand their definition of admissible evidence.

Calling Cthulhu: H.P. Lovecraft's Magick Realism

For Lovecraft, it is not the sleep of reason that breeds monsters, but reason with its eyes agog.

If we see the archetypal world not as a static storehouse of timeless godforms but as a constantly mutating carnival of figures, then the seething extraterrestrial monsters that Lovecraft glimpsed in the chaos of hyperspace are not so much archaic figures of heredity than the avatars of a new psychological and mythic aeon.

It's a MUD, MUD, MUD, MUD World: Exploring Online Reality

Even without the loopy pleasures of netsex , virtual love affairs can be emotionally intense, resulting in more real-life encounters and marriages than you might guess.

My modem was my lifeline; material friends grew tired of my constant busy signal and ceased calling. Increasingly unwashed, subsisting on toast, chips, and other goods easily consumed at the keyboard, I let my body wilt in the summer heat.

Half Japanese: The Mighty Morphin Power Rangers

If you wanted to mount the argument that afternoon television is breeding an army of insatiable kick-boxing schizo-consumers, the ammo is there. It's called Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, and it's the latest kiddie-pop phenomenon to fire up whatever mysterious glands have already driven millions to worship Ninja Turtles, Hollywood dinosaurs and Cabbage Patch Dolls.

Kid memes are just cartoony knock-offs of the more insidious memes designed and pushed by global media conglomerates, and hence they might help us inoculate ourselves against our own invisible infections.

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