ON THE NATURE OF THE ‘ESOTERIC’

It has been brought to our attention that there is some trepidation regarding the choice to call the Center for the Advancement of Transmodern Awareness the Center for the Advancement of Transmodern Awareness. To these critics, we must respectfully offer a few justifications.

1) The title is accurate for the mission of the space

2) For the sake of brevity, an acronym is an equally viable title for those who refuse to fill their mouths with such an unwieldy title: C.A.T.A.

3) There is implicit criticism that the extended and technical title is purposefully opaque. This may be true, to some extent, but we ask that critics spend a bit more time considering the choice. On an affective level, the official sounding and wordy name connotes a form of stultified academic assery on its surface. However, we hope that on some level such a title is understood as being both completely earnest and archly ironic at the same time. The dissolution and confusion of such boundaries feels like an important tenet in manifesting a transmodern reality.  On a conceptual level, C.A.T.A. is interested in the efficacy of esoteric belief systems to navigate an information saturated landscape. The term ‘esoteric’, for us anyway, does not denote ‘the occult’ specifically (though the occult is, by definition, esoteric). Rather, we seek to understand and integrate the esoteric (occult?) practices of many cultural edifices: commerce, marketing, art, architecture, and inter – and intra- personal dynamics.


To put a VERY long story short, the occult merely refers to the hidden. As we know, nature makes no effort to conceal itself. One merely needs to look closely and pay attention to feel the mechanics of nature make itself available you. The same could be said for all esoteric practices. Ask any Freemason and they will tell you the sum total of their ‘secrets’. The trick is that the secrets are not secret. The secrets are available to all, but it is up to individual subject to decide to follow up on the interest and learn or to become bored or uninterested. Here is the rub: In our market driven economy, signifiers are pointed with deadly accuracy at increasingly smaller sets of populations. These signifiers are developed with the most advanced psychological tools known to human kind. They are designed with such rigor and efficiency that you almost have no choice but to ‘like’ the signifiers, at least when you are the target.  We, as C.A.T.A., would like to offer an alternative; a multi-modal, multi-scaled project into which you can pour your subjectivity. You may appreciate (or not appreciate) the space for its aesthetic decisions. You may just like to sit on our couch and talk to people, you may just come to purchase records, or you may choose to follow up and go deep into the philosophical underpinnings to such a project. Each manner of experience is on an equal level of value. Modernism has tricked us into believing that everything is equal, that everything should be for everyone. We interpret this as saying, “EVERYTHING SHOULD BE THE SAME”. We hope, we pray -we ritualize the desire- to find whatever small way within our grasp to say “EVERYTHING IS INFINITELY DIFFERENT AND YET INFINITELY THE SAME- WHAT A GREAT AND TERRIBLE PARADOX. WHAT DO WE DO?”

We do this.

Set for CT

One Comment Add yours

  1. julia says:

    The top image gives me a whole new perception of the name, though “the bohemian grove” is pretty good too!!!

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