Michael Carter is a Los Angeles based artist, lecturer, and writer whose work offers an experimental investigation into metaphysical theories of art. Seeking to learn more about the theosophical roots of abstract art, Carter serendipitously became a member of the Theosophical Society and began an intensive hatha yoga discipline. Beginning around 2015, he began to more seriously explore metaphysical theories through his art practice. This is most compellingly explored in his "pendulum" works (2015-2021). These works were inspired by pendulum studies from the theosophical text Thought Forms and involved the construction of room-sized pendulums, which Carter used to harness gravitational forces for painting. Continuing in this manner, Carter's next body of work focused on the human body and its aura. While more recent works explore the extra-physical aspects of flowers as well as the clichés of aura visualization. Carter's work has been featured at Machine Project, Philosophical Research Society, Nicodim Gallery, and elsewhere, as well as in the films "Holywood" by Courtney Sell and "Michael Carter: The Spiritual in Art" by Eric Minh Swens. He has previously lectured on the metaphysics of Hilma af Klint and forthcoming is a lecture on Agnes Pelton, Dane Rudhyar, and the Transcendental Painting Group.
In our talk we explore theosophical metaphysics, "thought forms," clairvoyant investigation, and intuitive praxis. While Michael describes how he came to theosophy and his experimental practice through insightful reflections on his work. Along the way we bump into old friends like Sigmund Freud, Hilma af Klint, Megan Watts Hughes, and more.