Ben Jeans Houghton

Ben Jeans Houghton

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Haptic Hymns To Votive Flux

A gothic exoskeleton of ceremonial armour, at once ancient and futuristic, pragmatic and ornamental, organic and artificial, is worn to enable an oneironautic embodiment through this non-denominational, devotional ritual.

This encounter unfolds atop a retrofitted rectangular flight case, splayed open as a book. One side is divided between a light box, topped with a sheet of opaque white perspex as a frozen pool of glowing milk, alongside a twinned rectangle of black perspex as the protean oil of unremembered flora and fauna. Secreted contact microphones amplify the arrival of combinations of objects arranged on these surfaces. The other side of the flight case houses a pedal-board of audio electronics, alongside a cornucopia of chromatic objects, whose individuality will come to populate the brief collectivity of the arrangements displayed.

This ritual performance is a Möbius unfoldment that persists through a dis-membering and re-membering of non-human fetishes as transient artefacts of ambiguous presence. Briefly enthroned and engodded through haptic-hymns to votive flux. Each object exists in entwined and dislocated relationship to the esoteric techne of the body that moves them and the hands that enunciate their agency as alchemical apparatus, as the aesthetic pragmatism and delicacy of refined ceremonial formality enunciates the intuitive choreography of their arrangements.

The performance invokes the transient magician whose arrival briefly punctuates the normality of locality, with quixotic moments of non-understanding, through obfuscation and revelation alike. Each object at once invokes referents, collective and individual and mirrors the particularity of each mind’s idiosyncratic cognition’s search for and generation of meaning and its absence. A psalm to the numinous non-human eroticism of being, to give voice to the mouthless things, is voiced over and under, through the improvised intonation of mantric glossolalia, prose and poetry.


Gnostic Animist, Artist and Astrologer Ben Jeans Houghton’s multidisciplinary practice spans votive-sculpture, architectural-installation, oneiric film-essay, liquid-crystal painting, self-reflexive writing, ritual costume, improvised performance, mantric-glossolalia and esoteric lectures. The work explores and expresses magic; the art of transformation and its methodologies, technologies, agencies, and implications, through art-praxis, as-gnosis, informed by astrological, philosophical, and metaphysical perspectives. Situating creativity as a generative site for a timely remembrance of occulted metaphysics and methodologies by challenging and dismantling the monopoly of the materialist paradigm, towards the reinvigoration of contemporary creative tools, for the forming of honest futures based on mutual flourishing in right-relation with a more-than-human cosmos.

Through his ritual performance practice Ben creates non-denominational haptic expressions of votive-worship, that evince the alchemical methodology of using art-praxis to both communicate and co-create self-reflexive, transformative opportunities, for author and audience. Through writing he engages with the poetic-economy of prose and the teleological structure of essay to intimate the historicism of foundational ideas and reanimate their essence with illuminating threads. Through experimental film and film-essay he creates oneiric time-based expressions that subsume the structures and languages of mythology, anthology, poetry and essay; to communicate a constellation of perspectives that embody existential questions, posited in novel ways, as the ambulation of a gnostic-psychogeography.

Ben has delivered exhibitions, screenings, presentations, performances and publications internationally in Germany, Greece, Africa, Japan, South Korea, and America and nationally across the UK with CCA, Gymnasium Gallery, Bloc Projects, Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art, Generator Projects, Whitstable Biennale, BFI and Channel Four amongst others. Ben has also previously presented esoteric lectures for the Trans States; Esoteric Arts Conference and AstroMagia; Art of Astral Magic Conference and will be again this year, alongside another newly commissioned lecture for presentation to the IAAM; International Association of Astral Magicians.