2017 Stockhausen & The Dogon Transmission to Sirius B
Stockhausen & The Dogon People: Transmission to Sirius B presented an evening of the composer Karlheinz Stockhausen and his reverence for the Dogon people of Mali highlighting their ancient reciprocal philosophies with his cosmological framework. The evening which was organized through the Joshua Tree National Park and was presented at Cap Rock debuting the never before seen documentation by the explorer, ethnomusicologist and documentarian Douchan Gersi of the Dogon Sigui ceremony of 1972. Transmission to Sirius B, was the first in a series of events to lobby attention for the protection of National Parks and Wildlife. The event coincided with the Perseid Meteor and saw images and films projected onto Cap Rock in the Joshua Tree. The National Parks Service granted two nights from sundown to sunrise.
In honor of the Sirius star alignment, the event played the music of Stockhausen who revived through the electronic medium 'music of the spheres' exploring proportions in the movements of celestial bodies—the Sun, Moon, and planets—as a form of musica. Stockhausen controversially stated he had been taught music through a journey to the Sirius star gateway. Stockhausen’s music forms a dialogue with a series of sound recordings, films and never before seen photographs of the Dogon of Mali who believed they had descended from visitors from Sirius also known as the Dog Star. These documents were compiled by the explorer and filmmaker Douchon Gersi who at one time worked with Maya Deren in Haiti and went on to continue documenting Voudoun rites. Working in the field of Psycho-anthropology, Gersi documented the mystical rites and secret ceremonies of initiates in the Amazon, South East Asia, Northern Africa, the Caribbean and Eastern Europe. This 1972 film presents the most sacred of the ‘Sigui’ ceremonies that takes place once every 72 years to directly convene with their ancestors in Sirius B. Documented exclusively by Gersi after the publication of The Pale Fox by anthropologists Marcel Griaule and Germaine Diterlin, the film animates their “secrets of the dark stars” at a time astronomers had corroborated the existence of their claims that had been invisible to telescopes. This connection to a people who believed their lineage descended from this stargate, was the basis of another creation story of the Egyptians, forming the foundations of the belief systems of the 1st Dynasty. The arrival of Sirius signaled the hot days of August and the flooding of the Nile, the lifeblood of that civilization. The great pyramids of Giza were believed to be built to align with Sirius and like the belief systems of the Dogon its emissaries brought esoteric traditions, scientific knowledge and the mystery religions to Earth. August 11and 12 also marks Sirius is in the Lionsgate (when the Sun is in Leo) aligning in Orion’s belt synching with the Pyramids of Giza opening what is believed to be a portal to convene with the unknown. This event engages the role art has played through human history as a means to convene with the forces of the unknown. Recalling events organized by the poet H.D. during World War II and the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the Levitation of the Pentagon which took place in 1967, ‘Transmission to Sirius B’ incarnated the role of ‘the gathering’ forging like minded artists, curators, scientists and poets to redirect the unseen forces at a time of great duress. Cap Rock in the Joshua Tree, one of the most ideal spots to witness the Perseid was exclusively available for this small gathering The archive of Douchon Gersi is maintained by the filmmaker and documentarian Eric Zimmerman who gave a brief talk.