Here’s video of Kasper Opstrup’s presentation from Trans States Conference 2, “News from the Sun: On the Search for a Politics of Revelation.” The Conference’s YT page for this presentation says:
“Throughout the 20th century, artists experimented with various visionary methods of producing a revelation. This was attempts at accessing the radical new by combining what was in unexpected ways so to break through consensus reality and create messages with no relation to either subject, history or genius. Inspired by the alchemists of yore, the surrealists juxtaposed heterogeneous elements to create a marvellous dreamscape while Brion Gysin and William Burroughs used the cut-up to not only rewrite the past but also create a mythology for the space age. This exploration of chance operations went hand in hand with a search to not only mutate the body, make it into a ‘body of light,’ become immortal, or in other ways force evolution, but also to discover a new way of thinking and, thus, evolve consciousness to become ‘cosmic’ or ‘quantum.’ This paper will discuss some of the aspects of this two-fold attack on the category of the human. If mutating the body is the means, what is an end? What is the new way of thinking and how can it influence evolution? These questions will be explored through ideas drawn from alchemy, theosophy, Cosmism, Burroughs, Gysin as well as Timothy Leary’s and Robert Anton Wilson’s SMI2LE-project (Space Migration, Increased Intelligence, Life Extension). The paper will argue that these examples can be thought of as a type of mystical utopianism, fuelled by a reoccurrence of gnostic ideas in the modernist avant-garde, and concerned with producing myths for the near future to ignite a visionary type of politics, which is based on praxis, experiments and revelations as well as directly connected to an ecstatic vision of new types of being, new types of living together as well as a new relation to nature.
“Kasper Opstrup PhD, is a writer and researcher based in Copenhagen. He is the Danish translator of, among others, Alexander Trocchi and William Burroughs and is currently finishing a monograph with the tentative title ‘An Imaginary Kingdom in the Wastelands of the Real: On Art, Esotericism and the Politics of Hope’. His most recent book is The Way Out: Invisible Insurrections and Radical Imaginaries in the UK Underground from 1961 to 1991 (Minor Compositions, 2017).”