Nomad Codes
Erik Davis, author of Nomad Codes
Original Date: Thursday, June 13, 2013

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In these wide-ranging essays, Erik Davis explores the codes—spiritual, cultural, and embodied—that people use to escape the limitations of their lives and enrich their experience of the world. These include Asian religious traditions and West African trickster gods, Western occult and esoteric lore, postmodern theory and psychedelic science, as well as festival scenes such as Burning Man. Whether his subject is collage art or the "magickal realism" of H. P. Lovecraft, Davis writes with keen yet skeptical sympathy, intellectual subtlety and wit, and unbridled curiosity. The common thread running through these pieces is what Davis calls "modern esoterica," which he describes as a no-man's-land located somewhere between anthropology and mystical pulp, between the zendo and the metal club, between cultural criticism and extraordinary experience. Such an ambiguous and startling landscape demands that the intrepid adventurer shed any territorial claims and go nomad.

Erik Davis is an author, award-winning journalist, independent scholar, and lecturer based in San Francisco. In addition to Nomad Codes, he wrote The Visionary State: A Journey through California's Spiritual Landscape, Led Zeppelin IV and TechGnosis: Myth, Magic, and Mysticism in the Age of Information, the latter a cult classic of visionary media studies that has been translated into five languages. His essays on art, music, technoculture, and contemporary spirituality have appeared in over a dozen books. Davis has contributed to a variety of publications, including Slate, Salon, and the Village Voice.

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