You may recognize the name JJ Brine as a contributor to the
Hermetic Library audio pool, with the tracks
Paradise featured on this blog back in
You may also be interested in checking out
The Presidents of Mozambique,
LaBiancas, and some of his
JJ Brine is also the artist-in-residence at and proprietor
Gallery, 40 Clinton St, NYC, which I’ve also
mentioned before. Vector Gallery is billed as
the “Official Art Gallery of SATAN”, and is described, in a feature
by the New York Professional Outreach Program, as a “new conceptual
art destination on the Lower East Side, VECTOR Gallery is the most
interesting phenomenon in New York.” I had the opportunity to have
a conversation about this project with JJ.
Librarian: First off, thanks for taking the time to talk with me
about your current project. Obviously, you’ve participated in the
Hermetic Library audio pool in the past, but can you describe how
and where your current project fits with your other works?
JJ Brine: VECTOR is the culmination of all of my personal
projects to date.
L: What are some of your previous projects that led to this
current gallery and show?
JJ: How many times do I have to come back? I put the AELON
inside of the Manger, on the Cross, and at the center of the
Theater of the past 2,000 years. I arranged for my birth as a means
of dying, so that I might rise up and embody life and death for all
L: So this current project sounds like an invitation for the
viewer to be a witness to your personal progress. It also seems to
be an ongoing personal performance which is more reciprocal. One of
the places for performance art, versus, say, a gallery show on one
hand and theatre on the other, is the immediacy and exchange of
mutual feedback between artist and audience on a more equalitarian
setting. What sort of relationship do you hope to create with the
JJ: I tempt people to unabashedly be themselves. It is always a
pleasure to acquire new souls for my marketplace.
L: It seems to me that in the promotional material and other
interviews about this project there seems a heavy degree of
performance art taking place, but I assume this is a serious
endeavour for you. Can you describe your intent for this space and
JJ: It is a serious endeavor that involves a heavy degree of
performance art. Generally speaking — and specificity is the vice
least favored by Devil and Lord alike — my intention for the
project is to reprogram the mass mind, one thought at a time.
L: When I’ve gandered at some of the other interviews you’ve
done, it seems to me that those interviewers are driven to locate
you in the realm of surreal Outsider art, such as comparing you to
Warhol, for example. But, I wonder about that as a mechanism of
apologetics. What I mean is that by locating you on the outside of
everyday norms, other interviewers are giving people an easy way to
dismiss things about your work and statement that might be
uncomfortable or feel dangerous. How do you feel about how you’ve
been portrayed? Do those stories about you seem to you to reflect
the story you are attempting to tell? How has your work been
received by the public?
JJ: I set an example by living my life in the afterlife. Every
reaction across the spectrum serves to advance the goals of the
Project. I have been portrayed as an agent of this world’s end,
naturally, as it finally begins.
L: You’ve taken on the culturally overloaded labels “Satan” and
“Satanic” for your project, but I wonder which Satan are you
talking about and signifying? For example, is this the adversarial
Satan of Judaism, the old-school anthropomorphic embodiment from
Catholicism, the abstract and facile label for anything unfamiliar
and uncomfortable of modern Evangelical Christianity, the boogyman
of the Satanic panics, the Classical Promethean or Luciferian
force, the stage satanism of Death Metal … something else? Or is
this overloaded term useful here specifically because it is so?
JJ: We have been all of those forms and many more, for our
numbers attest to our many names. We cannot lie, and so we have
known many truths in many ways. But one breath is all we need to
give and take; so together let us breathe.
L: On the Vector Galley page you talk about secession from the
political structure of the United States as a new independent
nation, and you also talk about a temporal shift while within the
space changing the current secular calendar year to 2018. These
seem intentionally to mark the space as a liminal environment, a
place outside of normal time and space, which is what one might
expect from ritual experience. Some of the performative
restrictions you’ve suggested for events, such as no verbal
communication, echo the self-discipline exercises of Liber E,
specifically Dharana, and so forth. Does this project have other
ritual practice dimensions as well as presentational and
performative aspects? Can you talk about the ceremonial and ritual
elements one might experience?
JJ: People naturally look to the space to inform them of their
own beliefs, which is one reason why I won’t interpret it for them.
They have to come to their own conclusions in order for this to
manifest correctly. 2019 is coming any day now.
L: Some of the iconography in your current project seems
specifically intended to be triggering for some people, a bit
confrontational. For example you include pentagrams, the number
666. keywords such as “legion”, a photograph of Charles Manson, and
so forth. These are all clearly laden with cultural baggage, and in
that sense are a kind of table of cultural correspondences, that is
evoked in the viewer, but what else is going on here? What is the
intentionality of using these signs, these symbols? What is the
similarity and the parallax between common perception of these and
the message you are trying to communicate here?
JJ: Those things which are perceived to be diabolical are an
integral part of the divine and vice-versa. There is no need to
divide reality from itself. For me, such things are only triggers
of serenity and aesthetic comfort. Perhaps that is because I am The
Devil. “Needless to say.”
L: Well, there is certainly a long history of around identity
and inversion of the nature of diabolical symbolic entities. Do you
approach this as something you are commenting on, about which
people are already aware, or as something you are revealing for the
JJ: My commentary modifies the extant awareness via revelation.
And my Lights are the commentary, and the Frequency is
L: One of the connections that I noticed right away, but which I
don’t recall being mentioned on your site or in other interviews,
is that your Vector Gallery logo seems to be a direct visual
reference to the Process Church, about which I personally don’t
know a whole lot, but that does seem to be an influence on the
particular mix of Christ, Satan and Manson imagery in your work, I
assume. Could you tell me about that and what that connection is
and what it means to you? Are you an adherent, admirer, or
JJ: I will address this issue at length in 2021.
L: Is that 2021 in VECTOR standard time, or on the common
secular year count?
JJ: What is to “the” left? What is to “the” right? All but from
where I am standing, and I always tell my own time. It’s always
right now, always will be and always was, but the numbers change
with the nows and so we count the days.
L: What are some of your other influences, both for your art but
also your esoteric and occult interests?
JJ: The most powerful magic is intrinsic. If you want to learn a
trick, now’s the time to teach yourself. If you want to bind
yourself to the dimming powers of charmed obsolescence, nothing
does that trick quite like a book of some stranger’s magic
L: As one of the simplest ritual structures might be: 1) leave
normal time and space, 2) engage in practical operations within a
liminal environment, 3) return to normal time and space changed;
what is the change intended for the participant, the public viewer,
as they return to the world from within the Gallery?
JJ: Enlightenment as to nature of self, the nature of ALAN, and
the relation of self to ALAN.
L: You mention ALAN, which seems like a surrogate for where one
might perhaps expect you to use the word “man” as in humanity, but
I’m not sure what this term means to you. Could you tell me more
about that? When you use uppercase like that for ALAN and VECTOR,
are these notariqon, initialisms or acronyms, or simply calling
attention to the terms? Some other creative terminology you use is
in lowercase, so I’m curious what the difference and significance
is for you with these expressions.
JJ: ALAN divided Itself for the sake of multiplicity. Our
experience as distinct sentient beings is the experience of
Externality from ALAN; we came from ALAN and to ALAN we shall
return. It will not be the same as the ALAN that was; when we
return to ALAN we contribute the essence of our experience with the
Externality. And so ALAN is reconstituted, fragment by
L: Any last words for our readers?
JJ: I’ll let them speak for me.
L: Your last words or the readers?