An installation by Marshall James Kavanaugh, with assistance by Willow Zef, Andrew Galati, Scott Bickmore, Rachel Mueller, Megan Whalen, Courtney Blue, Eric Clark, Eileen Lillian Doyle, and a few more.
I have to say, there is nothing greater than gathering a group of close friends together and watching TV in the woods. Like moths to the fire the entire neighborhood was turned on by this spectacle of foreign delight. All had to stop and wonder as they passed this pop up tent of mystical light and alien technology in an abandoned lot two blocks from my house.
It’s a mad, mad world and we sat right in the thick of it watching our favorite shows.
“Last night marshall moved his living room into an abandoned lot creating a psychedelic city fire. galleria ex-terra. kind of like a march hare & mad hatter’s tea party. with bowls and beers and a tv stack simmering embers of static & ash. the police rolled by (twice) with curiosity. they left feeling stunned saying “oh shit christ.” neighbors and friends joined the soirée giving their compliments. strangers stopped to have a look. and a crackhead came thru whoring herself for a quick few minutes of smack. she left when she got a cigarette. stretching and gnawing her jaw though. made her look like a skull bone. so many worlds colliding, intensifying. a hodgepodge of humans in a powwow. a modern day hooverville, obamatown. artists and bums experiencing the shit & grit of kensington. having a good ol’ time transcending the norm via art. making ash of the veil revealing what’s realer than real. i think i heard ginsberg snapping.“
an excerpt from a forthcoming book of love poems devoted to the inner muse
The muse floats in on a breeze set from far south.
A springtime celebration of all that is.
Satiate the writer with your arid flow.
On the opposite end of the dream is a new reality.
Crossing oceans. Crossing continents.
Bliss is a fail safe for the undramatic.
A king’s ecstasy in love for the one who created him years ago.
Passion. Satisfaction. Exactly what was meant to unfold.
an excerpt from the Dream Dialectic, The Little Death, released in March 2014. You can grab a copy either in person or by sending me an email. More information about the book is available here.
Sitting on top of an RV on top of a mountain outside of Brattleboro in southern Vermont I stare up at the night sky and become completely unnerved as stars swirl like galaxies above my tiny insignificant head. The feeling drops like a brick to my gut and I shiver with new found consciousness shocking light down my spinal cord in quick painful succession. The old ego dies. Its back breaks in two. I feel it. A quick snap and I am thrown through a wandering black hole of infinite nothingness heavy with the weight of a thousand stars. My hands legs and feet all fall out from beneath me. I tirelessly grapple with the sleeping bag trying to block out this insane vision of vivid reality. Sweat runs down my brow. I am cold sober and yet I am having the first purely hallucinogenic experience of this lifetime.
I am nothing. And therefore I am everything.
The Little Death often creeps up on the spectator like a ghost under frozen water. His density is the same as the blackest sun in the galaxy. His potency is as soluble and possibly more explosive than McKenna’s fabled “hero dose”. To some the Little Death is an actual life ender. To everyone a response of absolute fear is most likely. There are very many who exit this space of the mind insane and very few who come out with a full understanding of this wholly singular moment. But everyone who experiences the Little Death is forever changed.
In those stars I see my own insignificance. They are infinite and I am only one. I have never seen stars like those. So many. So pure. Eternal flames burning longer than time. Circling around each flame an even more infinite number of planets just like ours. Or drastically different. Life forms the human mind cannot comprehend. Life styles the human being was never meant to understand. Dimensions parallel and tangential. Everything is infinite. And I experience the ego shudder back in horror as it realizes its own lack of significance. It literally turns white with fear. A coward by nature. It sees its own death of importance and then goes on and actually dies. I an empty shell am left there for a multitude of moments without a single thought. No inner voice. Nothing.
And that is when the beauty starts.
The Little Death is the great life bringer. Out of the ash grows a truer soul. Once the ego is peeled back and discarded reality opens up like a flower. One experiences a connection with their own values and from this a better understanding for the workings surrounding them. For once they are allied with the earth the heavens and the hells in a counterbalance of various flat lines and linear meanings. They are no longer alone. They have infinite being in front of them. And behind them lies only more greener infinity. Past lives past traumas past confusions suddenly seem all that more wonderful in their dissolution. One and everything. The dreamer awakens and realizes his visions of extraordinary are finite and yet everlasting. One with everything. No other truer self than the self that stands allied with all that surrounds him.
In the dark the stars continue to swirl and a close by stream continues to trickle. Other than this there is absolute silence. The fear lies in the silence for at any moment something monstrous should come out and rip the boy to shreds. But it does not come. The boy lays there waiting and with each waking moment he feels lighter and lighter. With his own insignificance comes a release from all guilty delusion and bad tide. A final surrender to the flow that is his nature. He is nothing by pure calculation, and yet the ratio that briefs his untimely end is a golden ratio. He burns bright in the night like those innumerable stars. A star himself finding his own gravitation. For the first time everything is transparent. Nothing and everything. He shines brighter. The ego is long dead. The night consumes him. And he shines brighter.
We are all stars in a great sea of stars shining brighter than the universe ever saw possible.
You’ll want to take a gander at Jeffrey Joe’s introduction as well. It’s probably the strangest and most accurate summing up of my life here-to-now that I’ve encountered. As far as the reading, it is the usual slapstick meditation with brief moments of transcendence. It was a great chance to tell new and old friends the stories of my travels over the last two years. Afterwards, I was told I should look into a career in stand-up, to which I replied the Zen Lunatic is always standing up pausing only to catch his breath. You can find him always on top of his individual mountain with his head drifting through the clouds.
So on the magic day of 4/20 I held a Good Vibes Party at my house. Once inside the Dream Oven, I led people into an installation inside the middle room which I kept referring to as “My Mind”. This was perhaps the first actual dream exhibition that I have ever held as it featured a tv installation based on a dream I had while in Berlin. Previously the so-called dream exhibitions I have hosted have been more about creating a dream space that engages the audience member into having their own dream. Here was something different! Something new! The audience was entering my own dream!
Over the last year, I have been working towards transparency and openness and it was very exciting to bridge this pursuit with my art acting as tour guide and telling viewers “This is my mind, this is what it looks like in there, welcome! Let me tell you about a dream I had!”
Welcome to the inside of my mind! You can enter and enjoy the ambiance below: