Episode 8: WITMA Panel | The Imagination
This episode of Radio Amenti features a panel discussion from WITMA (Well-being in the Modern Age), where I hosted a conversation on The Imagination on October 19th, 2019 at Contra Studios in NYC.
The audio from the panel was captured by Matt Xian of Timewheel Records and begins with a recap about the intention of the panel (and chosen panelists), closure on what WITMA was, and intentions for the future of 2020.
Featured voices, hearts, and minds:
Not much can faze Taraka Larson – born on Beethoven and Philip K Dick's birthday, she grew up in ashrams; lived on black metal communes; worked for utopian architects; written manifestos; delivered lectures from pools of fake blood; conducted group exorcisms disguised as VHS workouts; designed a whole line of byzantine extreme sports wear; and toured the world extensively with her band, Prince Rama. The band has become much of a cult enigma over the years, riding the fine line between rock n roll and performance art and are perhaps the only band who have been able to simultaneously incite mosh pits and stage dive while paradoxically reaching #3 on the Billboard New Age charts. Through the lens of music, Larson has created an unconventional visual arts practice and has exhibited internationally at the Whitney Museum of Art, Indianapolis Museum of Contemporary Art, and the MoMA PS 1 VW Dome, to name a few. She has also published several manifestos on the “NOW AGE" a pseudo-religion she created to practice post-internet utopianism that puts forth her music's aesthetic and metaphysical philosophies, earning both hatred and praise from art and music worlds alike. Her latest manifesto "Xtreme Now" is a meditative examination of speed art, extreme sports, and the sublime experience.
A widely known voice of esoteric ideas, Mitch Horowitz is a writer-in-residence at the New York Public Library, lecturer-in-residence at the Philosophical Research Society in Los
Angeles, and the PEN Award-winning author of books including Occult America; One Simple Idea: How Positive Thinking Reshaped Modern Life; and The Miracle Club: How Thoughts Become Reality. Mitch has written on everything from the war on witches to the secret life of Ronald Reagan for The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, Salon, Time.com, and Politico. The Washington Post says Mitch “treats esoteric ideas and movements with an even-handed intellectual studiousness that is too often lost in today’s raised-voice discussions.” He narrates popular audiobooks including Alcoholics Anonymous and The Jefferson Bible. Mitch has discussed alternative spirituality on CBS Sunday Morning, Dateline NBC, NPR’s All Things Considered, CNN, and throughout the national media. The Chinese government has censored his work.
Nick Onken is a world-renowned photographer, host of NIONradio podcast, and creative entrepreneur devoted to inspiring the world to create their moments. Nick has photographed personalities such as Justin Bieber, Tom Hanks, and Jessica Alba. He’s been featured in Fast Company, Huffington Post, and MTV. Nick has traveled to over 60 countries and 7 continents and is the author of the travel photography book, PhotoTrekking. He has photographed global campaigns for international brands such as Nike, Coca Cola and Adidas and his work has been published in magazines such as Conde Nast Traveler, Cosmopolitan, and Marie Claire.
On his podcast, he’s interviewed celebrities such as Usher, Scooter Braun, Donna Karan and many others. He is the founder of the lifestyle brand, NIONlife and has been a featured speaker for Adobe on activating creativity. He also photographs for the charity, Pencils of Promise as he believes that education is the root problem solver of our world.
Melinda Lee Holm is a Tarot Priestess specializing in translating Divine wisdom into actionable guidance. Building on over 25 years of study and practice, she uses her fluency in the language of Tarot coupled with her knowledge of crystals, plants, candle magick and metaphysical principles to identify and open areas of greatest potential for herself and her clients. Having overcome the effects of a youth marked by chaos, poverty, and abuse, she now seeks to inspire and foster growth and expansion in the lives of others using the same tools that had such a profound impact on her own life.
In 2018, Melinda launched Melinda Lee Holm Beauty, creating products with ingredients chosen for their magickal properties, designed to integrate spiritual intention into the ritual of our daily lives. She has advised people all over the world through Tarot readings including GZA and Lama Kyhentse Norbu. She is currently working on her first book and Tarot deck.