Kanani and Courtney talk about their experiences at SunFest XXXIV (https://owow.org) and Hilary gives a little more info into the Performance Art Intensive, Darkness Visible, that she performed at with Ron and Michele. Then Ron Athey and Michele Occelli join to discuss Automatic Writing and Trance Work.


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Ron Athey started performing in the early 1980s in context of L.A. bands Christian Death and Nervous Gender. 1981s Premature Ejaculation was a performance duo with Rozz Williams, a combo of actionism and noise music. Best known for his boundary-pushing body mutilations, Athey has been pursuing the transcendent and sublime through performance for more than four decades. Ron’s work invents new forms of ritual and celebration, conjuring the sacred as an antidote to the empty individualism of contemporary life. Pivotal works include the 1990 torture trilogy of Martyrs&Saints, 4 Scenes In A Harsh Life, and Deliverance, which addressed unique issues such as esoteric notions of healing and pro-sexuality stances – what Paul Preciado coined “post-porn” around HIV/AIDS at the height of the pandemic. These works have toured internationally including ICA- London, CCA Glasgow, Aksioma Ljubljana, Ex-Teresa CDMX, Kampnagel Hamburg, Participant Inc NYC, etc. Georges Bataille themed post-porn works include 1999s The Solar Anus, and current solo work, Acephalous Monster.

In the past year Athey has been the recipient of the Art Matters and Artadia grants for individual artists, and in November received the Religion and the Arts Award from the American Academy of Religion. He is the subject of 2 monographs, 2013s “Pleading In The Blood, the Life and Art of Ron Athey: and “Queer Communion: Ron Athey” a new monograph on Intellect Books, which accompanies a retrospective gallery show curated by art historians Amelia Jones and Andy Campbell at Participant Inc. NYC, and at ICA-LA, in 2021. Upcoming projects include a psychedelic non-lingual voice duet with Carmina Escobar, workshopping “The Asclepeion” in Athens, Greece 2023.

Michele Occelli’s approach to hypnotherapy utilizes a combination of Ericksonian and ideo-dynamic techniques to enable processes of change and self-discovery. After years of academic research in both eastern and western philosophy (SOAS, King’s College and Goldsmith’s College), he trained as a whirling dervish with the Mevlevi Order of Konya. The study and practice of Hypnotherapy came because of a desire to engage both mind and body as a unity, which is the basis for any form of understanding and healing of both self and the world