I received confirmation that I will be giving my presentation on Alan Moore at the conference on his work at the University of Northampton at the end of May. My topic is:
Rite Here: Ritual, Performance and the Magick of Place
From his first public working, The Birth Caul, Alan Moore has always had a strong attachment to location as a specific aspect of his magickal work. The performance was originally intended as a “unique event” which sought “to draw the audience along the spiral of a winding, umbilical text, into successive pre-pubertal, pre-verbal and finally pre-natal states of being” in the specific location of Newcastle's nineteenth century Old County Court. Similarly, Moore unpacked the layers of geography of his home city of Northampton in the pages of Voice of the Fire, while the London locations of The Highbury Working and Angel Passage, his conjuration of William Blake, provided an anchor for those performances which tied the ethereal to a geographic reality. What happens when the ritual becomes unmoored from the place of its birth, when the “one time” performance repeats across the world, distributed on CDs and comics? Does ritual transform into mere performance, or can the intent survive the commercial process? If so, what does the ritual without location or the original conjurer produce?
With luck I will have a chance to meet up with a lot of interesting folk, including my pal, Pádraig Ó Méalóid.