Exclusive release for ART 511 MAGAZINE – read it here
Standing at the peak of passion and profession, Ultracultural Others: Urban Mystery Skool for Radical Creatives was exactly the conscious realignment I needed to re-realize my creative dreams.
Looking through my third eye and receiving abundance after performing at Under St. Mark’s
When I was in art school, I was on fire. Making and talking about art became second nature. What I did not learn in school was how to support an art practice. Throughout some years of trial and error, and more error, I began to get bitter. I started coveting others’ success, feeling there was not enough to go around, comparing myself, snidely thinking I was better or more deserving. Only through some grace did I start meditating. I found that when I had a smile behind my eyes the world was different. I found a full-time job as an art teacher, which while fulfilling, was an emotional roller coaster from daily classroom management and conflict resolution. I dug deeper into healing, studying various religions, meditation techniques, and holistic healing modalities. This call for healing guided me through a stressful job, my partner having a serious health scare, and my dissatisfaction with not being an “artist” but an art teacher. After leaving the job, my expansion was fast and miraculous. I realized that lack is a figment of the ego-mind, that living with gratitude brought abundance, and that there is no such thing as a possession. The only worthwhile thing there is is love, which is in an infinite supply through the people around you and the universe itself. That’s the backstory….
A tarot reading by Ashni at the Morgan Library and Museum in the form of the rose cross. This was a powerful reminder of how to maintain openness.
I found Ultracultural Others at the point I declared art would be my first priority. I was looking for residencies and knew that “radical creative” was exactly the tribe I sought. I wasn’t exactly sure what the program was or what I would be doing, but I was excited to be doing whatever it was with like-minded individuals. Upon arrival, I was surprised to be living with the artists I had been corresponding with and their beautiful baby. How would I bring strangers over at night?! After the initial surprise subsided, I was delighted to stay with them. Katie and Undakova create an enveloping sense of beauty, magic, and calm in their home. Through morning yoga, meditation, ritual song, chanting, incense, a fridge full of healthy food, and the occasional dance break, the Ultracultural Others family made me feel immediately open and secure. (And their view is fantastic.)
This was the one day of January when it snowed. Instead of going to a “music video party” we had a dance party at home, complete with spooky makeup and video art.
As per the program, the days were mostly unstructured, giving me plenty of time to rest, write, draw, and do my homework assignments for my Mystery Skool courses. The programs I chose were Doula’s Apprentice and Demystifying Divination. Though the curriculum was tightly compacted, the expertise of my instructors allowed me to ask questions on anything that came up. I’ve been introduced to concepts that open up wide new avenues of learning. So much so that I had a revelation to continue academic pursuits in the field of transpersonal art therapy.
A photo Katie snapped of me at Jennifer Rubell’s opening at Sargeant’s Daughters. The Ultracultural Others apartment is close to so many great galleries.
Don’t think it was all work and no play, however. I was provided frequent e-mail updates on art events and opportunities as per my interests from Katie. I even got to participate in the premier of DREAM BEAT, a healing dance ritual hosted by Ultracultural Others which was one of the highlights of my stay. Other highlights include biking across the Williamsburg bridge at 4AM under the full moon, a women’s shamanic circle led by Siri Rishi, and a unicorn themed rave. Being around so many inspiring light workers allowed me to blossom in my own somatic and psychic intelligence. For someone toying with the idea of moving to NYC, this program was the perfect sampler, providing resources, inspiration, and friends I will not soon forget.
Katie squared dressed up for DREAM BEAT.
If you are a self-starter who can structure your days in a productive way, you will feel right at home in this program and in NYC. I had such a fulfilling experience and am heading back to Baltimore with an open heart and a clear mind in order to continue affecting change through art. Thank you, Ultracultural Others!
After much trial and error, I’ve finally completed this wall! As you can see from the UltraCultural Others Insta account, I was quite pleased with myself the first go round.
Unfortunately for me the fabric was all on the floor 2 days later…
The tape was not strong enough. Embracing my Pinterest obsession, I decided to use a technique I’d read about which involves “gluing” fabric onto walls using liquid starch. I couldn’t find liquid starch anywhere, (Google leads me to believe you can only get it at Walmart. Ew) so I made some with corn starch, water, and lemon juice for smell. I’ve never wanted to eat glue quite so badly.
Using the liquid starch for the fabric and tape, to tape up the tape, I made a new, more sturdy fabric wall that is not going anywhere. TAH DA!
I was inspired by my course in divination, led by Ashni, to create an homage to sacred geometry. Each number from 1-10 has a specific personality and connection to the tarot and creation of the universe. Here’s a snapshot of what I think they all mean:
- Separation or Doorway
- Balanced path
- Birth of depth
- Perfect Number
- Periodic Renewal
- The Horizon
Though it’s a lot to take in, I’ve found sketching through concepts in numerology crucial for my understanding of them. Here are some!
left: Deconstructing a square. Also called “Weave of the Goddess”
right: Sketch of the inner and outer ear, showing spirals in anatomy. The shape of the cochlea corresponds to how chromatic musical octaves appear when graphed as wave-lengths. Each note is identical to those directly above or below it on the spiral but with a one-octave difference.
Dream Beat is a contemporary wellness party ritual drawing together creative (radical) visionaries, conscious parents and young ones for community healing, divine incantation, song, dance, cultural dreaming, drums and the linking of magic to everyday Life. This high vibration sacred wellness ritual draws together a diverse cross-section of New Yorkers who wish to connect to the divinity found in the mind, sacred arts and nature. Let go of the past and rise up to move and groove in community with presence and peace of mind.
Auspicious peaks of the Lunar calendar such as this new moon in Aquarius are the best time to set intentions and through the sacred medicine of music and movement, recognize your body as a medium of the greater Cosmos. Co-led by Undakova and rotating featured artists, our DREAM BEAT events will allow you to collectively practice high vibration movement such as the 8 Ways TM by UNDAKOVA, a holistic technique designed to cultivate strength of mind and body, clarity of vision and total heart expansion. Dream Beat invokes the language of the Goddess expressed by poets, shamans, artists and emcees as pathways between worlds, a sacred space where the names and forms of false consciousness disappear. Come together with our Dream Beat tribe to reinvigorate your purpose for many moons to come.
/ / / / DETAILS / / / /
Please arrive promptly at 7pm for a healing SONIC GONG MEDITATION led by Siri Rishi Kaur, doors close at 8pm
CREATING THE CHAKRAS Live Performance by performance artist, curator, and yoga teacher Brinyy Summer
GLITTER PRIESTESS FAIRY APOTHECARY
Damali Abrams the Glitter Priestess will share magical infusions, elixirs and potions to heal contemporary maladies. Offerings include enchanted handmade herbal and flower remedies, and other otherworldly surprises.
Cacao Medicine Balls handmade with Love by AyurvedicMama
Sunder Ashni offering Divination Readings, Flower Essences & Herbs
DREAM BEAT WEBSITE: http://undakova.ontrapages.com/events
$20 Early Bird price on Eventbrite, $25 at the door
Friday January 27th, starts at 7, doors close at 8
Sixth Street Community Center
638 East 6th Street
New York, NY 10009
Hey! Katie Macyshyn here. I’m the January resident of the Urban Mystery Skool program. As an exercise in frugality, I’ve begun documenting literally everything I spend money on. (This is a tip I picked up from Gigi Rosenberg’s Artist’s Guide to Grant Writing and figured it’d be a helpful tool in determining if NYC is a possibility for permanent residency if you feel me.) While $18 seemed steep, it was more than worth it to get to the New Museum as soon as they opened and see Swedish multimedia artist ,Pipilotti Rist’s, Pixel Forest. I know you’ve all heard about how amazing the show is, so I’ll keep it brief and just show you some pictures:
Well that’s me ^^^ The expression = awe.
When I walked into the 2nd floor installation, her cover of Wicked Game was playing. The music in concert with these scrim flags gently moving gave me a real rush of emotions. Judging by the comments on the link I wasn’t the only one.
And finally, an artistic comparison to stupider things I have spent $18 on this month…
GO CHECK IT OUT.