It was 1998, in an underground—literally, it was in the basement of an apartment building—NYC book and magazine shop called See Hear where my interest in both Satanism and Abrahamsson’s work emerged. As a voracious reader of the occult and counter-culture, I devoured everything the shop had to offer and settled on two prevailing interests, industrial music and Satanism. One day I was picking out some fanzines featuring Psychic TV and Throbbing Gristle along with the Anton LaVey Memorial Issue of The Black Flame when another patron noticed the intersection of interests. He pointed out that The Black Flame issue contained an article by a member of Psychic TV who had his own industrial band called White Stains (a reference to Crowley’s collection of poetry). And yes, the issue contained a touching memorial of LaVey by Mr. Carl Abrahamsson, the Satanist of Letters. That same night I went to one of the local record stores and, lo-and-behold, a used copy of Why Not For Ever? was waiting for me in the bin where all the out-of-print industrial/experimental records were held. That album and other White Stains releases would provide me with a soundtrack through many forbidden late-night excursions and remain a lasting influence in my taste for experimental rhythmic music (the tracks ‘Time, Gentleman‘ and ‘Soft Explosion‘ in particular).
And here we are, 17 years later, that our paths cross again. It’s through one of those interesting synchronicities that I ended up interviewing Magister Abrahamsson for this digital revival of the magazine that initially brought him to my attention. In the years since, Carl Abrahamsson has been colliding elements of pop culture with outsider art, creating explosions of magical influence across the world. His printed work, including Reasonances and The Fenris Wolf, are antidotes to the ephemeral nature of today’s media, created with the intention to accompany the reader through time and personal growth. His writing and experimentations with magic should resonate with Satanists interested in Greater Magic, as he continues in LaVey’s framework of magic as a practical tool for change without the baggage of occultnik obfuscation. Through photography he captures the magic in the earthly mundane, and now in film he continues to pursue his passion for carnal art and documentation.
Raul Antony: About a year ago I read that you’ve begun an exciting new project called AN ART APART (trailer), in which you demonstrated an evolution in your work as a curator of eccentric artists into a series of documentary films. How did the idea of creating this series first come about?
Carl Abrahamsson: For many years I worked as a freelance journalist specializing in in-depth interviews with creative people. As the market for print dwindled I had to re-think. At about the same time there was all this buzz about the “market” needing “content”. Meaning of course stuffing stuff into technological platform voids. So I thought I might as well stuff some intelligence in there and make a series of films that could work equally well in art-house settings, on TV and online. The rest has been fairly easy. My work is basically the same: I meet people I find fascinating, talk to them, and document the meetings on video. Eventually there is a documentary portrait there.