Stuff to Handle the Human Condition: Scientology, William S. Burroughs and the Counterculture
Talk by Dr. Mark Jackson
William S. Burroughs has been recognised as a hugely influential figure of the 20th Century counterculture who is responsible for bringing a diverse range of alternative materials into the vocabulary of contemporary writers, artists, filmmakers and musicians. – This talk explored one of the most forceful, and yet least discussed, of these influences: L Ron Hubbard’s Dianetics and Church of Scientology. Drawing on his unpublished interview with the late head of the Church of Scientology in the UK, and responding to Scientologist! David Wills’ recent book on Burroughs, Mark Jackson looked at the way Burroughs reworked Hubbard’s ideas in a collision of countercultures and in the context of a somewhat hostile yet ultimately critical moment for both Burroughs and the Church.
Dr. Mark Jackson is a curator and Senior Lecturer in Art History and Critical Theory at Northumbria University. Exhibitions include Dead Fingers Talk: The Tape Experiments of William S. Burroughs at IMT Gallery, London.
The talk ran in connection with Freaks! The Alternative Press & The Psychedelic Underground An Archive // Exhibition
This event is part of Practice makes Practice, an artist development programme run by artists for artists, initiated by The NewBridge Project.
Practice makes Practice focuses on developing artistic talent and equipping artists with the necessary skills to manage their practice, bridging the gap between art school, studio practice, the gallery and beyond.
The programme is open to our Studio Members, and to the wider arts community through an associate Artist Membership. To become an Artist Member please click here.
IMAGE: Orphée listening to messages from the dead in the static of the car radio