Vicky Pea attempts to weave a narrative through the three days of Welcome To The Dark Ages.
Photo credit: Paul Wilkinson / The KLF Facebook Group.
To view Welcome To The Dark Ages as a three day event is quite a tricky task.
Day Three was largely about the Toxteth Day Of The Dead, The Rites of Mumufication and the People’s Pyramid which all interconnected nicely. But what about the proceeding two days?
Looking back it’s obvious that everything was leading to the revelation of Mumufication. The coffins, the brick collectors, an overexposure to pyramid imagery. They were leaving clues along the way. But how did our activities relate to it?
It’s easy to see Day Two as simply an extension to Tuesday nights book launch. You must admit it’s a very smart way to get 400 people fully invested in a book that for some may have simply gathered dust. Not now we all own pages, have used it to inspire us to create and potentially have future editions with our names on it.
I think The Day Of The Book had another role to play, more than just ensuring the next edition sells at least 400 copies.
By keeping in mind that the burning of the pyre to many, including myself, was a ritual, I believe that the purpose of Day Two was to stockpile creative energy.
We had outfits, as did The JAMS in their MuMu horns, Oliver got a “All Bound For Mu Mu Land” chant going – later a “burn the Shard” one took off, a fire was lit and something was most likely burnt within those coffins. It’s got all the makings of a ritual.
If you’re willing to believe in that statement then the amount of energy created by keeping close to 400 people awake and in a heightened state of creativity, collaborative experimentation and chaos whilst broken free from the bonds of social conditioning for three days has got to have an impact.
I know I’m not the only one to think this either, as you could spot those in attendance who were familiar with such events as they took to being quiet, giving their full attention to the pyre and focusing their energy, the energy nurtured throughout The Day Of The Book, into the ritual.
As Phil of the Psychedelic Detective podcast put so well, “We know what side our bread is buttered”.
Hypersession #45 ["Fuck The 23 Enigma."] is ALIVE. The Dark Ages are discussed and The Scorched Earth is born.https://t.co/tcEPyBwSNf
— PsychedelicDetective (@PsychDets) August 28, 2017
I can only speak for myself but when the fire was lit I took a big sigh of relief and for the first time in three days my nervous manic energy was dispersed as The JAMS marked the end of our adventure. Staring into the flames was probably the only time I fell quiet and still throughout the duration of Welcome To The Dark Ages.
Whether or not there is a real world reaction in response to a magikal ritual really doesn’t matter. It doesn’t even really matter if you believe it or not but I will say there can be real world benefits in believing in it. An almost placebo-like reaction. If you’re open to putting just a little bit of belief in then you never know what you might get back out.
In most cases I find I get motivation back out. In those moments when you find yourself tired, procrastinating and about ready to give up, the belief in the ritual can give you the boost needed to move on, often it can be subconscious as our mind refuses to loose sight of the goal as it has the power of magik behind it.
Boil it way way way down to the basics and a ritual is simply stating an intent. The JAMS didn’t make that intent clear so I hope you have all made your own. Even if they didn’t mean it to be a ritual and it was just a bit of fun, an excuse for another fire, there is no reason you can’t treat it as one yourself and make it work for you. Put the energy of the 400 to good use!
That’s my take anyway.
My biggest hope of things to come in the near future is that Grapefruit Are Not The Only Bombs becomes available publicly in some way – if it wasn’t burnt on the pyre!
I would absolutely love to be able to read each of the 23 chapters, pause and look up the art work created by that chapter of the 400. To see If I can figure out why they did what they did, where it came from and what it meant to them. Wouldn’t that be a lovely thing?
On a tangent, returning to the real world is a bastard isn’t it?
So how disillusioned are the 400 feeling today back at work? 😩
— Vicky Pea (@vxpeax) August 29, 2017
How am I supposed to sit at a desk and prioritise bullshit over anything that happened last week? The entirety of Welcome To The Dark Ages has done the same thing to me as the burning did (according to John Higgs at least), lodged itself into my reality tunnel so firmly that I simply cannot ignore it.
In every quiet moment my mind wanders back to it. I assumed the buzz of enthusiasm would quickly disperse after a day or two but it seems a bomb of sorts did go off in the 400.
It’s up to us now to push on, take the gift of our experiences and maximise them. Just imagine how shit it would be if we all went our separate ways, never to meet again, to produce nothing from it at all. The JAMS and those involved deserve better than that for their efforts.
I don’t think they put us through all that so we could just carry on sitting on our hands.
The 400 will rise again.
— Jim McCauley (@JimMcCauley) August 28, 2017
You can keep up to date with Vicky’s Welcome To The Dark Ages experiences on Twitter @vxpeax