Date: Friday, July 10
An evening of unexpected and obscure nature films. Each short film will be introduced by Jessica Oreck, director of Beetle Queen Conquers Tokyo, a beautiful documentary on insect collecting in Japan.
The evening will feature the trailer for Oreck’s fascinating film, as well as short films by Jean Painleve, the great french nature documentarian of early avant-garde documentaries on everything from crystals to seahorses to vampire bats.
Then we’ll have a look at The Cameraman’s Revenge, a silent stop-motion film from 1912 by the Polish animator, Wladyslaw Starewicz (1882-1965). The leading players of this short animation are real insects.
Antique Science will also introduce you to a behind-the-scenes film documenting the techniques of Disney’s vintage nature films. The films of insect-life and plant time lapses are beautiful, the early filming techniques awe-inspiring, and the 1950s naturalist couples who made them adorable.
We’ll round the evening off with a outtake reel from one of our favorite nature hosts, plus a few other surprises, time warranting.
Layered Orders: Crowley's Thoth Deck and the Tarot
Date: Friday, July 17
UPDATE: The lecture will also be repeated at 9:00 to accommodate demand.
A deck given to his brother by his mother in 1986 sat in Jesse Bransford’s childhood bedroom from the early 90’s until recently, delivering itself into Bransford’s possession at an opportune moment…
The Tarot in general and Aleister Crowley’s Thoth Tarot in particular represent a miasmic confluence of image and thought into a single structure that is both liberating and overwhelming in its scope. In creating the deck, Crowley (in collaboration with painter Lady Frieda Harris) sought to integrate the mythological structures of the major mystical systems of both Western and Eastern occult traditions and to bring them into line with contemporary scientific thinking. The symbolism of the cards blends Kabbalah, Alchemy, Astrology, Egyptian mythology, quantum physics and even the I-Ching in ways that are at the same time clear and utterly confounding.
In an image-soaked personal narration Bransford, whose research-based artwork has delved into many of the territories Crowley sought to unify, will discuss some of the basic concepts of Tarot symbolism, returning to Crowley’s deck as among the most total example of the cards’ syncretism and as the most controversial.
Jesse Bransford is a Brooklyn/Queens-based artist whose work has been exhibited internationally. He received a B.A. from the New School for Social Research, a B.F.A. from Parsons School of Design, both in 1996, and an M.F.A. from Columbia University in 2000. He is currently a Master Teacher with the post of Undergraduate Director at New York University where he has been teaching since 2001, as well as a member of the European Society for the Study of Western Esotericism. His work is represented by Feature Inc. in New York, Kevin Bruk Gallery in Miami, Galerie Schmidt Maczollek in Köln, and Shaheen Modern and Contemporary Art in Cleveland. Images of his work, a complete bio and related articles can be seen at www.sevenseven.com/, a website he has continuously maintained since 1997.
Both events are at the Observatory event space between the Proteus Gowanus Gallery and Reading Room, the Cabinet Magazine headquarters, and the Morbid Anatomy Library at 543 Union St. in Brooklyn.