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The blog of author Dennis Cooper

Paul Laffoley’s psychotronic schematic diagrams of metaphysical knowledge systems *

* (restored)

 

‘Paul Laffoley was born into an Irish Catholic family in Cambridge, Massachusetts in 1940. He spoke his first word, “Constantinople,” at six months, then remained silent until the age of four (having been diagnosed as slightly autistic), when he began to draw and paint. In his senior year at Brown University, he was given eight electric-shock treatments. He was dismissed from the Harvard Graduate School of Design, but managed to apprentice with the sculptor Mirko Baseldella, before going to New York to apprentice with the visionary architect Frederick Kiesler. In 1968 he moved into an eighteen- by thirty-foot utility room to found a one-man “think tank” and creative unit called the Boston Visionary Cell.

‘Laffoley supports himself with a job at the Boston Museum of Science, returning to the BVC not only to eat and sleep but to work on multimedia renderings of his visions of alternative futures and complex realities.

‘During a routine CAT-scan of his head in 1992, a miniature metallic implant, 3/8 of an inch long, was discovered in the occipital lobe of his brain, near the pineal gland. Local M.U.F.O.N. investigators declared it to be an alien nanotechnological laboratory. He has come to believe that the “implant” is extraterrestrial in origin and is the main motivation behind his ideas and theories.

‘As an architect, Laffoley worked for 18 months on design for the World Trade Center Tower II. As a painter, his work is usually classified as visionary art or outsider art. Most of Laffoley’s pieces are painted on large canvases and combine words and imagery to depict a spiritual architecture of explanation, tackling concepts like dimensionality, time travel through hacking relativity, connecting conceptual threads shared by philosophers through the millennia, and theories about the cosmic origins of mankind.’ — Paul Laffoley Official Website

 

Further

Paul Laffoley Official Website
Laffoley’s Odyssey: Short Films
Paul Laffoley @ myspace
Paul Laffoley posters & explanations
Paul Laffoley: Chasing Napoleon
Paul Laffoley on HP Lovecraft and the nature of evil
Paul Laffoley @ DATAISNATURE
Video: Infinity Factor: Paul Laffoley

 

Media


Lafolley’s Odyssey (6:09)


Paul Laffoley discusses ‘The Black White Hole’ (3:59)


Paul Laffoley slide show (9:57)

 

In the spotlight

The Parturient Blessed Morality of Physiological Dimensionality: Aleph-Null Number (2004)

The artist explains:

Bernard Riemann [ 1826-1866 ] student of Carl Friedrich Gauss [ 1777-1855 ] developed what we currently call dimensionality. Since dimensionality in the generic sense means the range over which, or to the degree to which any entification manifests itself, it often became further defined as a series contextual propositions. In other words it is a language which Ludwig Wittgenstein [1889-1951] considered a weltanschuung or worldview, an idea that was eventually fleshed out by Benjamin Lee Whorf. But these ideas have kept dimensionality well within the scope of practical science in which one paradigm becomes either parasitic to or subsumptive of all other paradigms.

The person who moved dimensionality away from the iron grip of traditional mathematics and back to the Ancient Greek concept of Fate, was Georg Cantor [1845-1918], who posing as a mathematician [ a scientist who abhors the concept of infinity in its abstract and concrete manifestations], sought the realm of actual Absolute Infinity – the Aleph-Null Number. This was his search for the living presence of the number of elements in the set of all integers which is the smallest transfinite cardinal number, which goes beyond or surpasses any finite number, group or magnitude.

What Cantor was doing was following the learning process of The Kabbalah, which is a search for God from a base of total materialistic skepticism. One of Cantor’s followers, Kurt Gödel [1909-1963] actually attempted to devise a mathematical proof of the existence of God.

This all leads to the idea that consciousness is embedded within the nature of dimensionality, and that consciousness can not be defined totally as we experience it in our fourth dimensional realm of Time-Solvoid by projecting our definition of consciousness, learned from experience, onto other more comprehensive and less comprehensive realms.

Consciousness presents itself, therefore, as a family of forms – an octave of in
telligence many aspects of which can not be accessed by our human intelligence. But the fact that analogy-cum-metaphor is the operation of the imagination means, even if the transfer of the mind is never complete, that aliveness and deadness are terms relative to a dimensional realm.

Beyond the human realm of Time-Solvoid, the existence and nature of consciousness is often designated as God , gods, demigods, Demons divas, Angels ,souls, heroes , etc. While accepted as part of nature, these entities are rarely understood.

Below or less comprehensive than the human realm, consciousness in the form of ghosts, apparitions , shadows or hallucinations are just as distant from human consciousness as members of the so-called divine realm. But the real difference is that most humans feel obviously and naturally superior to these entities. This feeling is often translated into propositions which state that these beings are without any kind of consciousness, and that the attribution of consciousness to them , is what gave rise to the existence of superstition prior to the rise of experimental science. A science that tried, on the one hand, to discover their true nature, and on the other hand, to dismiss their existence as flim-flam.

The pre-scientific Ancient Egyptian Civilization accepted shadows as having consciousness. Of the nine parts of the Egyptian personality, two were about the shadow. The Khaibit (the shadow of the physical body) which never leaves the carcass, and The Ka (the doppelganger) the shadow of the soul that moves freely about the Earth and the stars are interpreted as phenomena such as lucid dreaming or the out-of-the-body-experience in terms of human perception.

While both forms of the shadow are ultimately the same, the dynamic and static forms demonstrate the form of Life-Death of the Shadow.

In today’s world-view, very few people believe that shadows possess a form of consciousness, let alone believe that a human can communicate with one. To most people the shadow is simply the result of solid objects in space blocking the rays of a light source and that is it.

The association of light with consciousness has a history lost in time. But closer to our time James Clerk Maxwell [1831-1879] discovered in 1856 the relation between light and electricity which led eventually to the theory of the electromagnetic spectrum which developed in the early 1930’s. From about 1875 on, the Occult vision of dimensionality, akin to the Pythagorean musical scale of infinite extent, was introduced and supported by Maxwell’s discovery.

Degrees of consciousness, from almost blinding light to almost total darkness, provide the metaphor for Good to Evil, The Divine to The Demonic, Life to Death, all as degrees of embodiment. These are the aspects of the entire electromagnetic spectrum, which include what we call visible light –a very small portion of the spectrum. Most of the spectrum is undetectable by our unaided senses, but nevertheless, it contains octaves of energy which separate themselves into individual dimensions.
Today so-called “physical light” is a metaphor the position of human consciousness within the total dimensional system for two reasons:

(1) “Physical light” always has its origin in the Past, whether or not that origin is a star or a candle;

(2) The “brilliance” that we associate with light exists in Nature only in the minds of intelligent conscious life-forms, and is not inherent in the non-conscious aspects of Nature. The photons which deliver energy to waiting retinae do not “carry” light. If it was the case that they do, the entire Universe would be “lit up” all of the time in an isotropic and homogeneous manner, and there would be no “darkness” in the Sky.

The symbol for the velocity light has been in our contemporary world the letter “C” meaning 299,796 + or – 4 km./ sec. in a vacuum near the Earth , or in the open air. But now astrophysicists are discovering there is a type of space which can not be monitored by any aspects of the electromagnetic spectrum. This is the space where an old star goes when it explodes and dies. This space is distinct from the space of a Black Hole, only in the sense that the Black Hole space is an infinitesimal point of that , space infinite in extent, which acts as the background energy plenum of the Universe.

On Earth these same astrophysicists have discovered a way of slowing down the speed of light to 17 mph by changes of media. They expect very soon to have light to travel at 4 mph. Then everyone will be able to interact directly with light, even the blind , because the energy of the electromagnetic spectrum travels in the human brain at 700 mph.

According to Philip Gibbs in an article entitled: “The Symbol For The Speed Of Light ? “, he states : “…, it is possible that its use persisted because “C” could stand for “celeritas” and had therefore become a conventional symbol for speed. We can not tell for sure how Drude, Lorentz, Planck or Einstein thought about their notation, so there can be no definitive answer for what it stood for then. The only logical answer is that when you use the symbol “C”, it stands for whatever possibility you prefer “.

While there are many physicists who propose an identification between light and consciousness by means of formulae that rival the simplicity and power of Einstein’s famous E = Mc². I prefer, therefore, to use “C’ to stand for consciousness.

 

Works


‘Mind Physics: The Burning of Samsara’ (1967)


‘Homage to the Black Star of Perfection’ (1965)

 


‘Geochronmechane: The Time Machine from the Earth’ (1990)

 


‘THE QUEST FOR THE VISION OF THE JUST WORLD’ (1976)

 


‘The Solitron’ (1998)

 


‘Pickman’s Mephitic Models’ (2004)

 


‘The Living Klein Bottle House of Time’ (1978)

 


‘Alchemy: The Telenomic Process of the Universe’ (1973)

 


‘The Number Dream’ (1968)

 


‘Dimensionality’ (1992)

 


‘The Future: Architecture Will Become Plant-Forms’ (1974)

 


‘Geochronmechane: The Time Machine from The Earth’ (2006)

 


‘The Kali-Yuga: The End of the Universe at 424826 A.D.’ (1965)

 


‘Homage to Kiesler’ (1968)

 


‘The Fetal Dream of Life Into Death’ (2001-2)

 


‘The Visionary Point’ (1970)

 


‘The Skull of Plotinus’ (2001)

 


‘Mel’s Hole’ (2006 – 2008)

 


‘Dante’s Inferno’ (2000)

 


‘The Renovatio Mundi’ (1977)

 


‘True Liberation’ (1967)

 


‘The Alchemy of Breathing’ (1992)

 


‘The Fourth Living Creature’ (1975)

 


‘The Sexuality of Robots’ (2009)

 


‘The Flower of Evil’ (1971)

 

RIP Paul Laffoley (1940 – 2015)

 

 

*

p.s. Hey. ** _Black_Acrylic, Yes, indeed. The UK are gods when it comes to failing Xmas lovers. Yes, indeed again. What an absolute mess the Brexit thing is becoming. Not quite Trump level disastrousness, but ever closer. ** David Ehrenstein, Rechy has a bit of Trump in him, i.e. he’s nice if you flatter him or if he can assume you’re reverent. If you don’t come at him with flattery, or if he can tell you’re not a fan, he is not a nice guy at all. The fact that John still carps obsessively about that Alfred Chester review many decades later is pretty Trumpian too. But, hey, god love John, more power to him. He’s earned his stripes, if not necessarily to the degree that he wants. ** Steve Erickson, Hi. I’ve heard people tie to my work to the Beats, but, as I think you know, I liked Burroughs, but I was never interested in Kerouac, Ginsberg, and the rest of the Beats at all. If my work’s tied by influence to any American literary movement, it’s the New York School poets, but I don’t think that connection is so immediately recognisable The forefronted sexuality in my work is pretty much French lit. influenced, if lit. influence is the question. I don’t know if Rechy’s forgotten really, but he is one of those writers whose name and work are almost exclusively associated with a single book, ‘CoN’. I’ve always been really happy that there’s not a single book of mine that defines why work to people, although ‘The Sluts’ does seem to be the book of mine that springs to people’s minds most immediately. I don’t belong to Spotify, but I’ll see if I can hear your mix. Everyone, Here’s Steve E. Check it out. Steve: ‘I made a “Best of 2018” playlist on Spotify today. Here’s the link. I could’ve made it twice as long and been more comprehensive, but I wonder if anyone actually listens to 210-minute streaming playlists.‘ My friend’s latest film? Do you mean ‘Vice’, or … ? An hour, very nice! ** Nik, Hi, N. Thanks, man. I know, that Greek one, whoa. I’m glad my lists intrigued. Excellent about your happiness and excitement about the new fiction piece! There’s no greater feeling than that, I can’t imagine. Yes, of course, the layering thing makes big sense. I’m way into layering. Huh, that is very curious about the misinterpretation of that incident/scene in the piece. Do you get why either the prose misled them or why their conclusions leapt as they did? Yeah, that ‘where’s the sex’ thing is something I hear about certain of my works occasionally, and it’s so annoying. There’s been a wee bit of that even with ‘PGL’, i.e. people saying the cast is ‘cute’ and that they’re disappointed that there’s no sexual tension between them or between them and the viewer when the film isn’t about their looks or, except in one instance, interested in identifying their sexuality or romantic inclinations at all. Weird. This week re: the script. Today Zac and I meet with Gisele, who has read our draft of Episode 1 and will tell us what, if anything, she wants changed. Zac and I are currently getting a draft of Episode 2 ready to give to her for feedback, and we’re early on in working on Episode 3. So it’s a week of editing and revising and trying to get something that we’re all three satisfied with that we can send on to our producers for their feedback before sending to on ARTE. Grunt-work, basically. Interesting, but not hugely. Your week does sound very busy, for sure. Best of luck with all of that. Let me know how it all goes. ** Keatonny, Ha ha. For about half a second there, or maybe for an entire second, I thought, ooh, a Merry Crystalmethmas sounds really yum. It’s odd how rarely I see Metalheads in Paris considering that I know there’s a whole bunch. They used to hang out in the Bastille a few years ago, but they seem to have switched their headquarters. ** JM, Hi. Yes, there are quite a few Xmas attractions still operating. At least in the US. There seems to be a revival of interest in them happening because a number of long-defunct Xmas theme parks have been refurbished and reopened in recent years. And Xmas-themed haunted houses are a bit of a trend. Even Paris’s haunted house is doing a scary Xmas walk-through this year called ‘le Père Noël est un Zombie’. I’m so there, obviously. Buche updates in the cards. Have a fine day. ** Chris Cochrane, So I guess you’re saying you got to see the Dancenoise show, you lucky, lucky, lucky bastard!!!!! Please kiss the hem of Annie’s gown for me if you see her. Love, me. ** Misanthrope, I think the songs ‘Break on Through’ and ‘Crystal Ship’ are great songs. I saw them live around the first time the first album came out, and I thought they were great live. I really liked the first Doors album at time and might still like it if I tried it again. After that, they got spottier and more ludicrous/tiresome for me with each succeeding album. People who like Rechy’s stuff generally say the best other novel by him is ‘Numbers’ if you decide to venture further. What kind of cookies did you make? Uh, well, that’s nasty. The thing in the stairwell. Goodness gracious. ** Okay. Today’s post has been restored due to an impassioned request from a reader of this blog, and I’m happy to re-present it. See you tomorrow.

11 Comments

  1. Rechy has always been aces with me. He gave me some terribly imporat information for my book “Open Secret” particularly his description of George Cukor’s pool parties, which WEREN’T gay orgies as everyone imagines them to be

    As for Constantinople —

  2. Rechy’s carping about Chester relates to the fact that Chester bought hustlers for sex yet held to a very silly romantic view of them that “City of Night” upended.

    Rechy was very important to my “Open Secret” book. He’d attended George Cukor’s pool parties and explained they weren’t gay orgies as many people think.

  3. Never read Rechy but I know his book NUMBERS inspired a Soft Cell song of the same name.

    Love Paul Laffoley, mentioned him quite a bit in the story I did for that DROWNING IN BEAUTY story I did earlier this year.

  4. Here’s my obituary for Pete Shelley: https://www.gaycitynews.nyc/stories/2018/26/shelley-remembrance-2018-12-20-gcn.html?fbclid=IwAR0pSfJBiffnNe5kL2A4Q192uVWWzn9D0WsrhG7zZPN8-eZWAz4jnLT38vQ.

    Yeah, I’m seeing VICE today. It opens on Christmas in the US. Its producer/distributor, Annapurna Pictures, has taken a lot of big risks that haven’t paid off (like spending $40 million to make Jacques Audiard’s American debut THE BROTHERS SISTERS, which grossed $3 million in the US) once they stopped selling their films to other distributors, and I assume they have huge hopes for their trio of December releases, which consists of this, DESTROYER & IF BEALE STREET COULD TALK.

    That’s ironic about THE SLUTS considering it was originally published as a limited edition small-press hardcover book. But I definitely got the impression it took off once it became more widely available because it lived up to readers’ expectations of a “Dennis Cooper novel” in a way that GOD JR. didn’t. If PERMANENT GREEN LIGHT gets much press in America beyond what it’s already received, I wonder how much will express shock that it’s not “transgressive” or overtly queer cinema.

  5. Dennis! A complex post. Very interesting. Just checking to say hi! I miss you & Zac. Hope all’s well. Have a nice Xmas day if I don’t get to talk to you soon. Too busy here & hiding a bit too. Did you decide the cake?

  6. Paul Laffoley’s diagrams are beautiful but they do make me feel dizzy. It’s a pity that his proposed design for the WTC Tower II never came off, these gigs never seem to go for the visionary artist types.

  7. Haha, it gets funnier when you think about it. “Cannibal Corpse broke in my house and pushed down my Mom.” haha. Ew burn the baby. Its amazing the wonderful things meth has done for the world. Never even heard of it until I was in my 20s. Im with Burroughs nothing thats gonna keep me up. I think of Nicos eyes lol. Its a nice thought until the space ships come. Haha I love Christmas. All the gifts are pouring in as we speak. I love this guys work. Totally believe in the aliens thing. My dad always told me a 3rd kind tale as a kid that he really believed, taught me about the Mothman. And my ex’s dad was a researcher. Not into metaphysics, tres ennu. Grew up reading Crowley, just got me into to trouble way over my head haha. Im really super religious tho so all thats evil, not really evil, Jesus just really lights your ass up, even though I do go see a psychic now and then. I wonder where they have gone? hEATy METHal!

  8. Steve, I’m sure you know that “Sisters Brothers” was written by our very own Patrick deWitt. He gave out three free copies on this very blog, and I got one because I answered a question right. Love that book.

    Dennis, So weird that you mention those two songs. I was singing the former to myself out of the blue about 2 weeks ago. Crystal Ship, I fucking love it. But yes, thanks for the clarity. I do like a good bit of their later stuff, but it’s more of the B-side stuff that a lot of people probably aren’t familiar with, though I’m sure you’re aware of that stuff.

    “LA Woman,” which I know you don’t like, is a song that I think I like primarily because there’s this part in it, like there is in the song “Soft Parade,” where you can hear Morrison just being so full of joy. Or so it seems. It makes me smile when I hear it.

    I made these real sugary, buttery cookies. They were cookie sandwiches. Essentially, they were these rather bland -in a good way- cookies with buttercream between them, the bland set off against the sweetness. Almost everyone liked them. My one friend, though, when pressed, said he didn’t like them and that they tasted like someone baked them in a meth lab. My other friend was like, “You’re crazy! They’re really good!” and grabbed another one.

    I found out later that this friend didn’t even eat one. He just nibbled some of the cookie and threw it out. You have to bite through the whole thing and get the cookie and buttercream at the same time! I’m such a Betty Crocker.

    I might try “Numbers.”

    So I met this other fellow today who works in DC. He’s 55 and lives in Takoma Park, Bernard’s neck of the woods. He was off the hook. We got to talking books, and he recommended…Armistead Maupin. I groaned, hahaha. He said to give him a chance. I recommended you. I watched him then download “Closer” to his phone.

    Later, we were talking, and he said that he hates gratuitous sadism. I’m thinking, “Uh oh.” Hahaha. Of course, I don’t think anything in your books is gratuitous (and even if it were, I wouldn’t care; I like gratuitous stuff). I did explain to him that he might encounter some things that are a bit graphic and extreme but that they’re there for a reason. He seemed cool with that.

    The kids and I are off to NYC tomorrow for the weekend. Back on Sunday. It’s supposed to rain all weekend, though. Maybe some indoor stuff. I’ve never been to the Whitney. Maybe we’ll go there.

  9. Hey Dennis,

    Haha, this guy is pretty fun. I like the Skull of Plotinus and The Fourth Living Creature most.
    Yeah, it’s complicated but pretty incredible, in a weird way. Like I’m really finding the next step to writing fiction for me, and it’s a lot harder but has made the process feel so much more full and engaging. It’s not “all there” yet, but I’ve never felt more room to seriously experiment with my work before, which is a huge pleasure. Especially layering, right? I’ve never worked on sentences the way I am in this before, it’s kinda already the best part, weirdly.
    About the misinterpreted scene, I think it’s a number of things. I think since it’s from the perspective of a female perpetrator who is treating the situation pretty casually and is oblivious to the damage the situation is causing, it might not have read to the readers. I think it also has to do with the gender switch, and certain incongruous details that might imply a certain kind of complicity of the victims part. I have a few ideas on how to fix it while maintaining the tone and not reducing the complexity of the characters’ choices.
    Hm, grunt work, that’s alright. I’m glad it’s coming out well and at a decent pace. How did Gisele like the first episode?
    Thanks for the luck. I’ve just spent all my work time layering and restructuring the story, which feels like the right choice actually. I also saw ‘News from Home’, which was so incredible. I think Chantal Ackerman might be the director who’s style I most connect to.
    Best of luck with the script these next few weeks!

  10. Hey Dennis,

    fantastic post today. Laffoley’s stuff reminds me of Hilma af Klint, especially hertemple pieces. Thanks for introducing me to his work. I wish outsider arts weren’t give such a title, they’re work tends to be more inventive than “insider” art. Grandma Moses painted better landscapes than any classical artist. Been working thru your top 2018 post from the other day, so glad to see serpentwithfeet on there!
    Hope you’re safe and doing ok over there in Paris.
    sincerely cal

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