Erik Davis in New York.

Erik Davis, author of the Joanna Newsom story on the cover of the new Arthur, is in NYC this week for two speaking engagements:

Visionary Art and Architecture: A Conversation between Alex Grey and Erik Davis
An evening event: Thursday, December 7th, 7pm, $20
Location: Chapel of Sacred Mirrors, 540 West 27th Street, 4th floor

“This evening, one of the world’s greatest contemporary visionary artists, NYC’s own renowned Alex Grey, and the San Francisco cultural critic Erik Davis will engage in a spirited dialogue about the role of visionary art and architecture. Grey will discuss the history of sacred art and the aspirations embedded in his own work, ranging from his extraordinary paintings and sculptures to his design of the Chapel of Sacred Mirrors. Davis will draw from his brand new book, The Visionary State: A Journey through California’s Spiritual Landscape, which weaves deeply informed text and stunning images into a compelling narrative of religion, architecture and consciousness in California. Don’t miss this meeting of two dazzling minds.”

The Visionary State: The Legacy of California Consciousness
Erik Davis
An evening lecture and slide presentation: Friday, December 8th, 8pm, $20
Location: NY Open Center, 83 Spring Street

“California has served as ground zero for an emerging spirituality based on ecology, the body and the technology of human transformation. The state’s ebullient spiritual landscape has spawned the likes of neopaganism, televangelism, UFO cults, austere Zen Buddhism, Esalen, mavericks such as Alan Watts and Aldous Huxley, popular visionaries such as Starhawk and Carlos Castaneda, and the nightmarish Charles Manson and Jim Jones. In this slideshow and talk, based on his fascinating new book, The Visionary State: A Journey through California’s Spiritual Landscape, Erik Davis will take us on a wild ride, exploring the history and legacy of ‘California consciousness.'”

“Erik Davis (, a San Francisco-based cultural critic, is the author of The Visionary State: A Journey through California’s Spiritual Landscape and Techgnosis: Myth, Magic, and Mysticism in the Age of Information. He has contributed to dozens of books and magazines and has given lectures and workshops at universities, conferences and festivals all over the world.”

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About Jay Babcock

I am an independent writer and editor based in Tucson, Arizona. In 2023: I publish an email newsletter called LANDLINE = Previously: I co-founded and edited Arthur Magazine (2002-2008, 2012-13) and curated the three Arthur music festival events (Arthurfest, ArthurBall, and Arthur Nights) (2005-6). Prior to that I was a district office staffer for Congressman Henry A. Waxman, a DJ at Silver Lake pirate radio station KBLT, a copy editor at Larry Flynt Publications, an editor at Mean magazine, and a freelance journalist contributing work to LAWeekly, Mojo, Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, Vibe, Rap Pages, Grand Royal and many other print and online outlets. An extended piece I wrote on Fela Kuti was selected for the Da Capo Best Music Writing 2000 anthology. In 2006, I was somehow listed in the Music section of Los Angeles Magazine's annual "Power" issue. In 2007-8, I produced a blog called "Nature Trumps," about the L.A. River. From 2010 to 2021, I lived in rural wilderness in Joshua Tree, Ca.