Produced and presented by JOURNEY_TO>NUTOPIA
JOURNEY TO NUTOPIA is an open conversation about positive future narratives that refute the inevitability of global dystopia.
"The future is up for grabs. It belongs to any and all who will take the risk and accept the responsibility of consciously creating the future they want.” Robert Anton Wilson
Next event will be Sunday October 31st, in the round from 7pm
What better time to contemplate the wisdom of the cosmic elders than All Hallow's Eve?
Robert Anton Wilson's Sex, Drugs & Magic revisited
MORE DETAILS TO FOLLOW
WATCH PAST BROADCASTS HERE!
After the live broadcast, we put all of the previous episodes here, completely free of charge.
If you can spare us a few quid and donate to The Cockpit so we can continue to make this work, that would be superb. Thank you and Keep the Lasagna flying...
Sunday 12 September
Artists addressing anxiety and alienation
With Special Guests:
Artist & Mental Health Advocate: Leigh De Vries
Musician and Filmmaker: Tim Arnold
Plus new sounds from the Music for Healing series by Richard Norris
We’re all finding our own way through these strange times. There is no map for ‘where we are right now’. Consensus reality (if it ever existed) is shifting. The future - political, ecological, economical - seems more uncertain than ever, and statistics show we are seeing spikes in anxiety, depression and the ability to cope across the board (though particularly in children and health workers). For September’s Nutopia we spoke with three creatives about their latest projects which address some of these issues through art, music and film.
Leigh de Vries draws inspiration for most of her work from her own experience with body dysmorphia. Her work explores identity, the perception and representation of mental health and our inner emotional lives in contemporary culture. Leigh's public installations and events seek to creatively foster open dialogue around these issues, connecting art, artists and a diverse international public.
Super Connected is the new feature-length film and album from singer songwriter/filmmaker Tim Arnold. Super Connected deals with the seductive power of social media and its potentially corrosive real-world effect on our mental health.The work was originally inspired by a mental health professional friend of Tim’s working with young people with Selective Mutism. Some of her patients were struggling with human interaction but also addicted to social media. In a post-lockdown world, this subject has become a vital area of research across the globe.
Richard Norris has been creating original pieces of music to soothe the soul, every month since the start of lockdown in 2020. Music For Healing is a series of long form tracks to aid stress and anxiety relief in these challenging times. The series totals four hours of listening time. Use them as background ambience, as immersive deep listening, in combination with meditation or any other practice. Music For Healing tracks are crafted and recorded in real time with no Artificial Intelligence involved.
Sunday 27 June 2021, via Zoom.
Behind the Headlines with BYLINE TIMES founders STEPHEN COLEGRAVE & PETER JUKES
Plus Special Guests:
THE PRIVATE SECTOR
Hosted by Michelle Olley
Free from Fear or Favour - The Story of Byline and Byline Times
Watch the event here:
Independent news media that cuts through is a rare and precious thing.
Over 90% of the UK’s newspaper market is controlled by just three corporations - News UK (Murdoch), Daily Mail Group and Reach (Daily Mirror). The same three companies are responsible for over 80% of online newsreach. It’s increasingly easy to make a case that the BBC’s ability to compete with news coverage at the highest level has been compromised by a series of budget cuts, partisan top job appointees and now an ominous-sounding review (thanks Martin Bashir).
Despite promises to clean house after the findings of the Leveson Enquiry, press accountability remains hard to come by. Meanwhile, the ruling party with the 80 seat majority is slamming through legislation making it harder to vote and limiting people’s ability to protest. And two US-style right-leaning cable ‘news entertainment’ channels are in the pipeline. We need independent investigative journalism now more than ever.
Into this sorry state of affairs steps Byline - a crowdfunding platform for investigative journalism-turned digital and real world newspaper, free-speech and independent media festival, podcast and online TV channel. Byline have been concentrating their energies on ‘what the papers don’t say’. Because they are funded by their readers, no PR company, advertiser or press baron influences the stories they choose to cover. Which media outlet was referenced in the PPE contracts-for-cronies section of Cummings’ mammoth 7-hour testimony to the commons? Why, Bylines Times, thank you for asking...
We were delighted to be joined by Byline’s co-founders, Stephen Colegrave and Peter Jukes. We chatted about how Byline came into being, what they’re doing now and where things are heading.
Plus, music, film and itnerview with The Private Sector. We’ll just put the band's bio, from author and Nutopia guest John Higgs here. No reason. *cough*
“The Private Sector are as dreadful as a moment of clarity. They are traumatic, but necessary. They are psychologically damaged by expensive schooling and there is no alternative. They are part of the problem and not the solution. They are exactly what you deserve.
Back when there was a counter-culture, The Private Sector would have been described as agit-pop. They would have been called political, or situationism, or dada. This is why we don’t have a counter-culture anymore; any movement that clueless was never going to last. Fucking amateurs. Eventually you need to get the professionals in. Somebody has to look the reality of the world in the face and frame it so that a sheep-like audience can understand. Somebody has to map the dead-end of western culture or else the tourists will never come. As we know, our current generation of supposed artists and musicians are either incapable, scared or too concerned with career advancement to do the work. When there’s a job that needs to be done, your only option is to outsource it to The Private Sector. Stop reading now.”
“Actions are always more complex and nuanced than they seem. We have to be willing to wrestle with paradox in pursuing understanding.”
Sunday 25 April 2021, via Zoom
The Art and Visionary Genius of William Blake
Watch the event here:
With special guests:
Author of William Blake Now & William Blake vs The World: JOHN HIGGS
Plus writers and artists:BEN GRAHAM, BISHI, CLAUDIA EGYPT, IKA RASTUS (THE ORIGINAL SYNA)
To celebrate the highly-anticipated forthcoming publication of cognitive historian John Higgs’ new book, William Blake vs The World, we are stepping back through the Doors of Perception and into the world of one of England’s most beloved poets, artists - and fiercest critics.
As John writes in his prelude to the book:
“William Blake is an archetypal misunderstood genius. His life passed without recognition and he worked without reward, mocked, dismissed and misinterpreted. Yet from his ignoble end in a pauper’s grave, Blake now occupies a unique position – an artist that unites and attracts people from all corners of society, and a rare inclusive symbol of English identity.
Blake famously experienced visions, and it is these that shaped his attitude to politics, sex, religion, society and art. Thanks to the work of neuroscientists and psychologists, we are now in a better position to understand what was happening inside that remarkable mind, and gain a deeper appreciation of his brilliance. His timeless work, we will find, has never been more relevant.”
We talk to John about that relevance, plus we are joined by some of ‘Blake’s children’ - 21st century creatives with their own visionary takes on London, Albion and the wilder shores of the imagination…
“In the universe, there are things that are known, and things that are unknown, and in between, there are doors.” William Blake
Sunday 28 March 2021, via Zoom
An evening in celebration of the life and work of Robert Anton Wilson
+ Book launch for Robert Anton Wilson’s Cosmic Trigger Play by Daisy Eris Campbell, published by Hilaritas Press
Watch the event here:
Special Guests: Rasa from RAW Trust/Hilaritas Press & Daisy Campbell.
PLUS, Special Surprise Guest: co-RAW Trustee & Hilaritas Press Publisher, Bob's daughter Christina Pearson!
Music/readings/performances from the play, including original cast members Oliver Senton, Kate Alderton and Tom Baker
Poetry from Arlen Wilson, read by Kate Alderton
Without Robert Anton Wilson’s Cosmic Trigger Play there probably wouldn’t be any Journey to Nutopia. We began as an event inspired by the talks and performances that were held during its 2017 run, here at The Cockpit. The play itself is coming out in print, so we thought we’d make an evening of it and celebrate the man who inspired us and many, many other seekers - Robert Anton Wilson - or Bob to his pals.
We were delighted to be joined by one of those pals, Meta-programming Director of the RAW Trust and co-publisher of Hilaritas Press: Rasa. Hilaritas are keeping the words and ideas of Bob alive with their luminous new editions of counter-culture classics like Cosmic Trigger, Prometheus Rising, the wondrous Illuminatus Chronicles and many more. (These books, incidentally, have fantastic new covers by graphic artist amoeba - who also created the digital sets for the Cosmic Trigger play). We chat about Bob, books and the RAW mindset in a post-truth world. AND - as a surprise bonus! - we were joined by Bob's daughter Christina - who shared words of wisdom and wonder with us. What a night to remember!
To celebrate the publication of the Cosmic Trigger play, were also spoke with its writer and director, Daisy Eris Campbell. Plus some of the cast members from the original stage productions, including ‘our Bob’, Oliver Senton, and Kate Alderton who played the role of poet and wife to Bob, Arlen Wilson perform key scenes from the play, while Kate blew us away reading Arlen's poetry whilst in character...
Enquire within and witness that lasagna flying!
AUDIOBOOKS of the Cosmic Trigger series, featuring Oliver Senton as the voice of Bob available here
ORDER THE BOOK OF THE PLAY:
"Only the madman is absolutely sure." Robert Anton Wilson
Sunday 28 February 2021, via Zoom
PSYCHOPOMPS & CELEBRANTS - Bringing Death Out of the Shadows
Most of us moderns are uneasy talking about death. Yet it is the one absolute fact of life: all things must pass, including us.
75% of funerals today are conducted by faith leaders, even though only 12% of us regularly attend church/places of worship. For too many of us there’s a disconnect, a growing gap between how we could be earnestly celebrating the lives of our loved ones and the performative stoicism of a bog standard religious or secular funeral.It doesn’t have to be this way. Ru and Claire are part of a new generation of undertakers and celebrants actively engaged in enabling a more truthful, present funeral for anyone seeking something more than a hastily compiled biography read out by a stranger in a dog collar. We spoke with them about the future of death and their work as The Green Funeral Company. We also discussed their intruiging involvement with mumufication, the People’s Pyramid and Toxteth Day of the Dead.
Plus, poet, author and Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature Salena Godden will be joining us to chat with Ru and Claire and to share some extracts from her incredible new book: Mrs Death Misses Death.
Read The Guardian review of the book HERE
See Ru & Claire’s TED talk HERE
"Dying should be one of the great events of Life." Alan Watts (1915 - 1973)
Sunday 31 January 2021, via Zoom
Music for healing, feeling and mind-congealing...
Guests: Matthew Shaw in conversation with Harry Sword (The Quietus)
Live ambient set from Richard Norris with visuals from Bill Borez/Blue Carbon
Hosted by Michelle Olley
The transformative power of Sound is the theme for January’s Nutopia, specifically the kind of music that keys in to our timeless relationship with the repetitive beat. Writer and musician Matthew Shaw will be joining us for a conversation with Harry Sword, Quietus journalist and author of the upcoming paen to drone: Monolithic Undertow: In Search of Sonic Oblivion, published by Rought Trade Books.
About Monolithic Undertow: In Search of Sonic Oblivion:
Monolithic Undertow alights a crooked path across musical, religious and subcultural frontiers. It traces the line from ancient traditions to the modern underground, navigating archaeoacoustics, ringing feedback, chest plate sub-bass, avant-garde eccentricity, sound weaponry and fervent spiritualism. From Neolithic beginnings to bawdy medieval troubadours, Sufi mystics to Indian raga masters, cone shattering dubwise bass, Hawkwind's Ladbroke Grove to the outer reaches of Faust and Ash Ra Temple; the hash-fueled fug of The Theatre of Eternal Music to the cough syrup reverse hardcore of Melvins, seedy VHS hinterland of Electric Wizard, ritual amp worship of Earth and Sunn O))) and the many touch points in between, Monolithic Undertow explores the power of the drone - an audio carrier vessel capable of evoking womb like warmth or cavernous dread alike.
Get Harry Sword's Monolithic Undertow book HERE
Matthew Shaw's music, writing and photography here: https://www.matthewshaw.org
“The earth cannot move without music. The earth moves in a certain rhythm, a certain sound, a certain note. When the music stops the earth will stop and everything upon it will die.”
Watch the full show here:
Sunday 22 November 2020, via Zoom
Shamanism, Reiki and Finding Your Flow with Sushma Sagar
Music by Richard Norris
For November’s Nutopia, we took a Journey Within, exploring the healing power of chakras, the manifestations of the shaman in modern times and the magic of ‘Flow’...
We were delighted to be joined by The Calmery clinic founder, Reiki master, shamanic healer and author, Sushma Sagar.
As a change of pace, Sushma started us off with a 20 minute guided meditation, accompanied by music from Richard Norris and followed by a live discussion and Q&A.
You are made of energy. Within your body are 7 important energy centres that look after and influence the health of your body and mind - the chakras.
With this short and simple expert guide, understand how the chakras can influence your everyday life.
Discover how to draw on your energy to invite the good vibes in and heal your energy field to empower yourself every day to achieve your goals.
Order yours HERE
Sign up for The Calmery/Sushma's newsletter HERE
Richard Norris - Elements
Richard’s latest release fuses warm analogue synths, widescreen ambience and pulsating, subtly changing sequencers, creating a hypnotic, mesmerising work. Elements will be reimagined as a live show in 2021.
The Intergalactic Memorial Carnival for David happened throughout the day and evening of Sunday 11th October across the globe - in person and online, and our contribution to the celebration were via Zoom.
Co-hosted by Michelle Olley and Jon Harris, the event included readings and recollections from friends and admirers of David, and a special episode of Sound Bites from LSE professor Bart Cammaerts and Dave Wybrow which you can listen to in the window below.
Watch the full celebration here:
ERICA LAGALISSE, JOSHUA RAMEY, MAX HAIVEN, BRETT SCOTT, DANIEL EDELSTYN & HILARY POWELL, JON HARRIS, DAISY CAMPBELL, CLAUDIA BOULTON
Read more about David in this touching tribute from those that knew him in the New York Review of Books HERE
Watch Novara Media’s Ash Sarkar’s fantastic celebration of his life - which includes clips of David and tributes from John McDonnell, Molly Crabapple, Jeremy Corbyn and more HERE
Guardian Obituary HERE
More info on the Intergalactic Memorial Carnival HERE
Bit more info on our speakers:
ERICA LAGALISSE is an anthropologist and writer, a postdoctoral research fellow at the London School of Economics, editor of Solidarity and Care During the Covid-19 Pandemic at The Sociological Review, and author of Occult Features of Anarchism – With Attention to the Conspiracy of Kings and the Conspiracy of the Peoples (2019).
JOSHUA RAMEY, PHD is a writer, educator, and shamanic practitioner based in Philadelphia. He is the author of The Hermetic Deleuze: Philosophy and Spiritual Ordeal and Politics of Divination: Neoliberal Endgame and the Religion of Contingency. He is currently devoting his time and energy to writing in and teaching for counter-institutional initiatives like Incite Seminars. Find out more here:
MAX HAIVEN is Canada Research Chair in Culture, Media and Social Justice at Lakehead University in Northwest Ontario and director of the ReImagining Value Action Lab (RiVAL).
He writes articles for both academic and general audiences and is the author of the books Crises of Imagination, Crises of Power: Capitalism, Creativity and the Commons (2014), The Radical Imagination: Social Movement Research in the Age of Austerity (with Alex Khasnabish, 2014) and Cultures of Financialization: Fictitious Capital in Popular Culture and Everyday Life (2014), Art after Money, Money after Art: Creative Strategies Against Financialization (2018) and his latest Revenge Capitalism: The Ghosts of Empire, the Demons of Capital, and the Settling of Unpayable Debts (2020).
BRETT SCOTT is the author of The Heretic’s Guide to Global Finance: Hacking the Future of Money, a journalist and financial hacker exploring the intersections between money systems, finance and digital technology. He has a major new book forthcoming with Bodley Head (PenguinRandomhouse) and Ecco (HarperCollins) on cash.
He’s produced reports for institutions like UNRISD (United Nations Research Institute for Social Development) and UNPRI (UN Principles for Responsible Investment) on blockchain technology, has provided input into UNEP and UNOCHA reports on sustainable finance and fintech, and presented on financial inclusion at EU Parliament, EU Commission and IMF events. He’s written for publications including The Guardian, New Scientist, Huffington Post, Wired Magazine and CNN.com, and appeared in a wide range of TV shows, radio broadcasts and documentaries, including BBC World News and Sky News. Brett holds a degree in Anthropology and a Masters in International Development (Cambridge UK). He is the winner of the 2016/2017 Ethics and Trust in Finance Global Prize.
DANIEL EDELSTN & HILARY POWELL are the co-founders of Bank Job Pictures, an art project which sold bonds in order to buy up distressed debt which was then written-off in spectacular fashion by blowing up a van in the shadow of the towers of London’s financial centre, Canary Wharf. This project has been acclaimed around the world. Dan Edelstyn is an experienced film director and producer with multiple commissions for C4. He is also a musician releasing as The Orchestra of Cardboard. Hilary Powell’s work ranges from audio visual epics supported by Acme, Henry Moore Foundation and ROH to printworks collected by V&A and MoMA NY.
JON HARRIS is the author of The Money Burner’s Manual and editor of Burning Issue magazine. From Jon’s blog: “From 2007 I've done an annual ritual money burning. In 2008, I wrote about it. Every 23rd October I burn some cash. I understand this seems like an odd thing to do. But it's been great for me.The ritual now has a meaningful place in my year, a bit like a birthday or Christmas. I see it as a sacrifice; specifically a sacrifice of my custodianship of Money's power. I've described the ritual as the ultimate act of forgiveness.”
DAISY CAMPBELL is a writer and director best known for her production of Cosmic Trigger (2014 & 2017), staged at The Cockpit Theare, London. In 2018 she wrote and starred in a one-woman show Pigspurt's Daughter which played at Hampstead Theatre before touring. In 2019 she directed The KLF's comeback event in Liverpool, 'Welcome to the Dark Ages'. She also notably directed the world's longest play, The Warp, and translated Macbeth into Pidgin English for a West End run. She has also been teaching prisoners to write for radio in Leicester prison since 2016. She has an MA in Producing and an MA in Transpersonal Psychology, and worked with story structure guru Robert McKee 2015-2018, having been his youngest ever seminar attendee at the age of 11!
Claudia is 40 years a theatre maker extraordinaire and lover of origin stories. She was a founder member of Beryl and the Perils – Fast Furious Feminist Fun in the 70’s/80’s. Warped seriously first time around, ICA / Edinburgh at the Regency Cinema. 79-80 with Ken Campbell; Warped again second generation with Ken and Daisy Eris Campbell. Actor/Managed that beast for 2 years at the Drome 1999-2001 – as an essential Mindfuck Operation!
In between Warps: among many other things, in lieu of a theatre PHD, she played Winnie in Sam Beckett’s Happy Days and toured herself around the world. – “As Winnie you can pick up a Willie `anywhere, after all he only has 5 lines!” – She performed it in Nepal, On the beach in Bali, In The Outback, at BIosphere 2 in Arizona, NYC and finally at a proper Beckett Festival in Holland with the Incredible Orlando, blind Jack Birkett, playing Willie. She co-produced and starred in both runs of Cosmic Trigger.
Sunday 27 September 2020, via Zoom.
Navigating Conspiracism, the Wilderness of Mirrors and Chapel Perilous with High Weirdness author Erik Davis and guest poets Verity Spott and Dolly Rae Starcore.
- Conspiracy theory's role in the current consensus reality crisis - as discussed in his article The 'Wilderness of Mirrors' (read it HERE)
- Chapel Perilous 2020 (if you know you know and if you don’t know - come find out)
- What we can take from the toolbox of 20th century writers/seekers/’madmen’ like Terence McKenna, Philip K Dick and Robert Anton Wilson to help us navigate the digitally disrupted uncanny valleys of the now.
Links for Erik Davis:
Watch the event here:
Friday 14 August 2020, via Zoom
Centring the Climate Crisis to Build Back Better - with Jamie Kelsey & Claudia Egypt
If we don’t slash the carbon emissions in the next five years we’re going extinct. Just Sayin’.
The anthropocene will not be reversed by the Bag for Life scheme. 71% of CO2 emissions from the past 30 years come from 100 petro-chemical companies. Fossil fuels are literally killing us.
How do we turn this tiny pause in business as usual into something more… evolved? It’s not like we don’t have the science - or the will at an individual level. But to move to a more sustainable future, collective action - activism - is clearly still, urgently needed. What does that mean in August 2020, with a global recession already building a head of carbon-fuelled steam? Well, Extinction Rebellion will be back, September, 1st to peacefully blockade parliament/s until their demands are met - and we are thrilled to be joined by one the key figures in the movement ahead of their next big push.
Jamie Kelsey is a champion for positive change with tales from the frontline aplenty. He has been involved in climate activism for twenty five years, flowing from the free festival Stonehenge movement in the 80s into the reclaim the streets movement, the anti globalisation movement that culminated in J18 (aka the Carnival Against Capital) in the U.K. and the fin de siècle Battle of Seattle in California. Jamie was part of the Climate Camp movement from Kingsnorth onwards, helped start Reclaim The Power and founded Talk Fracking with Vivienne Westwood. He’s been one of the founding figures in Extinction Rebellion since its declaration on Oct 31st 2018 and is currently working on Citizens’ Assemblies on the climate emergency. He is contributing editor for New Internationalist and helps run a thriving community democracy group. His tarot card has always been the Fool. Follow Jamie on Twitter @JamieKelseyFry
Plus, we have the incandescent Claudia Egypt with a rainforest-inspired poem.
“Once we start to act, hope is everywhere” Greta Thunberg
'We Want To Live!' - The Rebellion returns to Parliament on 1 September amidst warnings of a 4°C world
Watch the event here:
Friday 10 July 2020, via Zoom
For our July event, host Michelle Olley was joined by spiritual adept and digital sage, Vinay Gupta.
Vice Magazine described Vinay in 2015 as ‘The Man Whose Job It Is to Constantly Imagine the Total Collapse of Humanity in Order to Save It’.
Ultraculture’s Jason Louv described him as ‘Hindu tantric, Bucky Fuller-style engineer and blockchain evangelist’
When the 'rona arrived, it was Mattereum CEO Vinay Gupta’s Twitter threads we hit up first. Not only for a bigger picture reading, but for the baseline, practical, what-to-do-now of the societal breakdown, bog roll wars of the situation.
As we move into the ‘end’ of the UK’s first wave of the corona crisis, with restrictions and financial support receding, how can we build something new without bringing with us the obsolete, self-serving baggage of the 20th century? Or the 18th, for that matter?
Vinay Gupta’s recent essay Cutting Through Spiritual Colonialism is a khanda blade through a ton of that baggage. We will get into the rags and the riches of that essay and suppose around some ways forward that don't suck.
Vinay has never been afraid to grasp the nettle - but he also knows where to find the burdock…
Plus, tending to our wounds and lifting our spirits with Spoken Words of wonder we have Festival 23 co-founder Tim Holmes, AKA poet Buddhist Punk.
Watch the event here:
Friday 5 June 2020, via Zoom
PESSIMISM IS FOR LIGHTWEIGHTS
With the lockdown starting to ease, we are entering a new, liminal phase between the old and the new ‘normal’. Are we ready, to paraphrase Ghandi - to be the change - above and beyond the claps and rainbows?
As well as bringing a fresh perspective to the past/collective memory, John Higgs has a history of exploring possible futures. He’s also the man who coined the phrase Pessimism is for Lightweights. Salena Godden took that phrase and turned it into an inspirational poem, inspiring us, in part, to begin the Nutopian project.
To see more of Salena’s work, check out her latest EP, released earlier this month HERE. All proceeds to NHS Charities supplying PPE and mental health support for key workers.
Watch the event here:
Thursday 14 May 2020, via Zoom
SHADOWS OF TOMORROW
Many possible futures that were unimaginable in December now lie before us. What comes next? What do we want to keep and what do we want to discard from the ‘old normal’? And how much agency will we have in those shifts?
To discuss some possible outcomes good, bad and unpredictable, Nutopia host Michelle Olley was joined by futurist and cultural strategist Adah Parris and author and LSE Politics and Communication professor Baart Cammaerts.
Conversation + Q&A.Plus, poetry from The Wonderists, featuring Moksha & Tommy Calderbank.
“Chaos” - as the salty Game of Thrones character Little Finger famously said - “is a ladder.”