Sunday, June 30, 2013

Came Back Haunted... by Photosensitive Epilepsy?

I can't watch it. I loved what I saw when I was finally able to sit down with my friend Michael and hit play on David Lynch's video for NIN's new single "Came Back Haunted". I am a NIN's fan, and I am a MASSIVE David Lynch fan, but the video actually threw my head out of whack for well over 24 hours. Now, I'm not sure if I am sensitive to bouts of photosensitive epilepsy, as suggested by the disclaimer at the beginning of the video. I know that I have not ever had epilepsy or any other kind of seizure that I am aware of, but this really messed with me BAD Friday night.

Now, this is strange, in that long time readers will remember my posting an electronic version of Brion Gysin's Dream Machine on this blog several years ago. I utilize the dream machine on a somewhat regular basis - this is a machine is made to marry the viewer's brainwaves to various frequencies via flashing patterns, thus inducing various states of consciousness. This has never bothered me, therefore I can only assume that there it is the exact frequency at which the Lynch video flickers that is doing very uncomfortable things to my brain. This fits with the definition of photosensitive epilepsy that I encountered on Wikipedia

The experience was pretty much terrifying, yet at the same time there was something... Occult about it. That's the wrong word, however I've been interested in epilepsy for years, since being introduced to the concept of Temporal Lobe Epilepsy as a kind of visionary or perhaps even transcendent occurrence, first in the pages of Grant Morrison's The Invisibles, then in his The Filth. In reading about TLE on (here) I was a little unnerved to find that although actual physical seizures never arose (that I was aware of) this description somewhat describes experiences I've had for well over a decade, ever since I began practicing the Occult - a practice that has morphed and waned over the years but still remains of interest to me today, obviously - experiences that are pretty hard to sum up into words and have themselves morphed and waned over the years, from indescribable crystal clear memories of people and scenarios that seem dreamlike yet more real than any previous dream, memories that come on so strong they cause my nasal passages to sting as if with sudden bursts of ozone and silver spots to boil before my eyes (imagery borrowed from William S. Burroughs), to almost complete 'White Outs' where my vision succumbs to a completely white field that always carries with it glimpses of something that always remains just... out of... reach.

If I have the time I plan on writing a piece about this experience for Joup, as it was extremely unnerving, yet very interesting.

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