// September’s Featured Artist: Owleyes! The sacred and the profane together at last all having a party!
It’s September and BITNB has a new artist of the month: Owleyes – get weird with us, now.
After finally meeting with Owleyes after working together these past few months, Mitra skipped the general fluff questions and got to the heavy stuff right off the bat.
BITNB: You term your creative process “alchemical transmutation”, can you explain this more?
Owleyes: Sure! Well what is an alchemical transmutation first off? It the transforming ov base metals into noble metals. In the hermetic tradition, the transformation was not that of metals but ov the spirit. An alchemy ov the heart, the purification ov the self, becomes my practice, to seek out the undesired elements in my self and turn them into “esoteric gold”. This I believe is the true nature ov alchemy. I take the internal and turn it outward, when I am in that zone, as people call it, every image I choose at the moment has charge to it tied directly to some element ov what I am attempting to alter in my spiritual struggle. That is how and why I started creating these digital icons, to help myself over come some major sorrow and darkness that came into my life, right after my mother passed in 2006, the only thing that seemed to help process what I was going through, was to spend hours immersed in the digital crucible, first scanning in images from various synchronous sources or pulling directly from the internet, which I see has an endless flow ov living data, I would pull together an odd assortment ov raw images that pulled at my core for one reason or another. Then the process ov the cooking would begin, chopping them up smashing sacred symbols together with gnarly stills ov a corpse or some fancy pic ov food. The outcome was a living visual, living in the sense that it was made in the computer, charged with millions ov miro processors and points ov light that feed the image into my brain. These digital relics then are shoot off into the data into the electronic astral plane, where it goes off on its own to live and connect to others that resonate with the icon. To establish contact, this connection is actually a major part ov the process for me, this image, that I made while really fighting and attempting to change my sorrow, now linked others who have gone through some type of darkness. The process lead me to LA, it’s how I have found my true community and family. These simple collage images have actually saved my life and opened a whole new world, filled with amazing talented people whom I respect and love deeply. That’s it in a nutshell, Jodorowsky has a great name for it too, he calls it Psychomagic. Where you change your life by acting in a whole new way that you would, creating situations for yourself that push you into new way ov seeing.
BITNB: Can you tell us more about reality grids and how they’ve been guiding you through Los Angeles?
Owleyes: I love talking about reality grids! I discovered these things at a pretty early age, and through some major psychedelic work I performed in my teens, I found myself in various corridors between realms. Portals would open up and drop in some pretty bizarro people in my life and I would find myself living an episode of Twin Peaks. LA has tons ov these portals. I have come across some pretty major players in the transdimensional community. They are all around us, THEY are us, as I have come to understand. Not to go deep into it, but I believe that reality is pretty much a slight ov hand trick, there is only so much information our brains can process, in order live day to day in this cosmic grid, we have to order and catalog everything with logic and reason, so we don’t go start raving mad and start talking to trees or walking around like a mime carrying half a mannequin torso strapped to our body in some sort ov hermaphroditic state of purity. In other words, we are all ape shit crazy, crazy for NOT thinking we are crazy! The reality grids are all around us, some ov them are rice paper thin, and we may walk right through some other world and not even bat an eyelash, then when we get home and flip on computer, we think about that odd woman on the street that had a twinkle in her eye when se looked at you, or that moment when you reach for the phone to call your friend, then the phone rings and it’s your friend. You just had a circuit crossed in your reality wire, you tapped into the field that is always there. I always think its funny when a friend freaks out about some over the top synchronicity that happens, or sees it as some omen or sign, these synchronicities are happening all the time 24 hours a day to us, we are just tuning them out. We pretty much have to, in order to pay rent, otherwise, we would be walking around with a plant for a hat talking to some alien or angel that we meet outside the 7-Eleven. This pretty much my day and night, I’m still not sure how or where I am going with all this, but as the years progress I have found more and more people who get it and we all hang out and go on walks or go visit other weirdoes and make snarky comments to each other about some odd ball reality blip that smacked us around. I guess to sum that question up; I would say reality grids run my life.
BITNB: So weird, you used to work at an American Girl cafe, which American Girl doll is your most favorite?
Owleyes: Oh man you called me out! Yes its true I served at the American Girl café for 11 years!!! First in Chicago then I opened the NY store, and then moved to the LA branch. I loved being around the crazy imagination ov the kids, but I had a pretty insane experience the week I quit where I fell that the corporation was sucking my creative energy to pull into revenue, total Philip K Dick moment. I then had a full on vision while at work, that I voiced to my coworkers, that the RED HAT SOCITEY (those retired woman that wear all purple and fancy red hats) were going to come in for tea at the café and sit at this certain table, and make me a honorary member ov their sect!! Needless to say, everyone laughed at me and thought I was just being weird, they even checked the reservations to see if there was group coming in … nothing. The very next day, I opened the doors to the café and there they were! The RED HATS!! A group ov these ladies decided to come in for tea, their table number was the very table I had seen in my vision, my coworkers sort of freaked out. Then the group inducted me into their clan because they like my service so much!! After that experience I quit, 11 years at the doll had turned me into a Manchurian Candidate (reference to the Frank Sinatra version where they have the brainwashed soldiers at the garden party), I had had enough! Anyway, my favorite doll was Samantha Parkington the Victorian era doll, I also liked Kailey Hopkins, the Cali surf girl who wants to save the tide pools and had a body board. I still can’t believe I did that for 11 years! So weird.
BITNB: You’ve previously stated that collaging helps you to “[rewire] the flow of data”, helping you to “decode, coded messages”, what messages are you trying to decipher?
Owleyes: That is a damn good question! The more I think I have figured something out, the more I realize that I just don’t know crap! I have run the gambit ov things, dealing with angelic commands, demon attacks, ecstatic visions, and paranoid delusions ov massive conspiracies, the quandary ov immortality. I have a pretty rickety astral map I have fused together out ov bits and pieces ov answers I have found here and there. I sort ov feel that every thing that we come in contact with on a day today basis is all connected to some larger picture, the outer world reflects the inner world, as above so below, as the saying goes. So if one starts to put that to practice, one begins to notice a code being formed, that code, should one be able to decode it, well, BOBS YOUR UNCLE! You get to open door number one and walk into bliss or something like that. Plus it’s a really good way to pass the time, some people watch TV, I like to connect dots, although some may say I am connecting dots where there are not even any dots, I say to them, how can you be so darn sure there are no dots there? I also like to share my findings with people, it is not for everyone, but for those ov you who know what I am talking about, we have lots to discuss. They are on their own missions and I love the times when my mission and their mission intersect. It’s like playing an intense game ov cosmic bingo. Images are sacred and should be shared with people, every one is on a sacred path, I am just here to help as much as I can and find my own truth.
BITNB: How long does it generally take to complete a collage? How much of this process is manual versus digital?
Owleyes: I work both digital and manual, some ov my manual collage I can work on for several months, I make these “analog Photoshop” pieces, where construct layers ov collage on transparences then make ink washes on transparencies and layer them on the rig I made, I then photograph them with various light filters shining through them all, those take a while. The pure digital collage, are really channeled, those I go into more with some sort ov emotion I need to deal with, those can be made in minutes, I have no idea what comes through when I make those. The analog collage are more ov me trying to “make:” something I envision.
BITNB: Your art has been referred to as ‘digital hieroglyphics’, what messages are your collages conveying?
Owleyes: The work I produce and send out into the electronic astral realm are decently encoded with elements I have channeled from astral data clouds (natures’ imagination), sacred symbols that already carry a strong charge I smash up with something pulled from an episode of Alien Nation or some inoculums face shaped out ov bread, I feel these bizarre surreal chance meetings of the sacred and the profane have a humorous element to them, that is a key element. Humor is a very profound way to breech ecstatic vision. I do not infuse any sort of doctrine or try and direct people to believe in certain truths, I only hope the images serve to trigger the viewers own sense ov wonderment and spiritual self. We are living in a world unlike anything that has come before us, unless you subscribe to the theory that we HAVE been here before, and we are just caught in a big loop, the whole ancient alien thing, we are actually living computers or whatever the story goes. Anyway, the messages I hope to spread are ones ov love and light, that uplift peoples spirits and fill them with humor. We are bombarded with an over saturation ov negative imagery shoved on us by mega corporate brains. Every image I channel and release has a mission, to help infuse the spirit and inspire the imagination ov others, to show them they can create anything they want to, no matter what everyone else is saying. I love putting my work on clothing and now I have started making leggings, I love that! I love seeing these digital icons jump off the computer on to people bodies. I think the more people become used to seeing scared imagery wrapped around the body, the more we as a culture will start looking for stronger and more internal symbols ov the spirit. Some may see that as profane, or some may even see that as, what’s that saying, casting pearls before swine? Well that is the most arcane bunch ov hogwash I have ever heard. First ov all EVERY ONE IS SACRED! Our bodies ARE temples, and if a kid wants to wear a t-shirt with tons ov sacred symbols all mashed up on it, then what is that doing? It’s externalizing her/his need for a spiritual connectivity. It is also broadcasting that need to everyone one around. This starts a chain reaction, the sacred and the profane together at last all having a party! It’s about time too!
BITNB: You’ve mentioned that you used to hear voices when you were younger, to which your mother told you were angels and demons, do you still communicate with them? Are they a regular part of your creative process?
Owleyes: Yes, its true, I have been dealing with that my whole life. I am pretty sure that incident I had at American Girl was a psychotic break. Though I feel like what some people would have been like, “damn I’m crazy, checking my self into a hospital for schizophrenia”, (which I was diagnosed with- whatever) I feel like we all have some sort ov dealings with these other elements in us and outside ov us. Its how we chose to deal with them that matters, a little bit psychomagic.
BITNB: Which philosopher has most influenced your work and creative process? Which philosopher do you despise?
Owleyes: Well it’s a known fact I love Jung and despise Freud, for the apparent reasons. Although I would like to this time to say that the teachings ov Jung, Robert Anton Wilson, Philip K Dick should be taught in high schools, with Jodorowsky as a runner up. Throw in some Terence Mckenna, Ram Dass and a little Brion Gysin, and you have yourself perfect brain bomb cocktail for the kiddies.
BITNB: What (if anything) do you enjoy most about Houston that you just can’t find in Los Angeles?
Owleyes: Besides the fact my father lives there, there is not a single thing I miss about Houston. Now the woods in East Texas will always have a big place in my heart, since that is where I had my first transdimensional experience. East Texas is like one big David Lynch film, Houston is a pretty dark sludge pit, but the up side is that some ov the rawest otherworldly musician and artists come from that vortex. I have a few friends still living in that void, churning out some pretty sick work; I have mad love for them. No, LA is my home, I absolutely love this city. The mystical history ov this town is unlike any other in the US. I don’t even know where to start, this is the image factory for the world, and its pretty much all based in some sort ov occult or spiritual practice when you get to the roots, WTF?!! Not to mention that here, I don’t have to walk this path alone, or feel like I have to hide my ideas or feelings, there is a whole community here for me that I love and the loves me and supports me. This is the keystone city for change.
BITNB: Is December 21st the end, or just the beginning?
Owleyes: It’s totally the beginning! I think it’s the end ov time, as we know it, the unveiling ov illusions and the start ov a new utopia that is within us. Free our selves from the imitations of three-dimensional space. I am not sure what is coming, but I have run the gambit ov possible scenarios, and I am sure that what ever is in our future has something to do with the creation ov bioengineered living computers, and the discover ov time travel. Thank you all for taking the time to read my rant! LOVE IN LIGHT J
Visit Owleyes’ website
Check out Owleyes’ designs for BITNB here