On the shortest day and longest night of 2018, SideReal, an artist-run space in Amsterdam began a six-month stay in a room alongside the Butcher’s Tears proeflokaal. In collaboration with Janine Armin

On the shortest day and longest night, SideReal, an artist-run space in Amsterdam began a six-month stay in a room alongside the Butcher’s Tears proeflokaal. A space for itself and others with music, art, book, and film events along with projects around alchemical ideas of passage, subterfuge, manipulation, desecration, hopelessness, trolling, saving up, losing everything, magic, reality, worship, gods, guts, glory, and gore.

SideReal floor, epoxy with blue dye over dirt, side room, Butcher’s Tears. ‘The water of life flows between the opposites and, including urine, carries the projection of knowledge. In alchemy water was either the great healing factor or poisonous.’ VON FRANZ 59-61

Greetings in the name of Hermes, god of traders and thieves, 
The rules don’t apply when they only work against you.
And there’s no god of pirates, but things change.
Please join us for the first transmutation.

Charis Konstantinou and Jaap Faber (Rebets guitarS), ‘The womb of rebetiko was the jail and the hash den. It was there that the early rebetes created their songs. They sang in quiet, harsh voices, unforced, one after the other, each singer adding a verse which often bore no relation to the previous verse, and a song often went on for hours. There was no refrain, and the melody was simple and easy.’ – Ilias Petropoulos.

‘[W]atching the amber being heated up and melted, in my loneliness, I started to feel pity for it.So I started talking to the resin, saying that it should not be unhappy if I burnt it for in the end it was to become a wonderful yellow pearl, and it must just bear being tortured with the fire now. In this way, I got into a whole fantasy about producing this yellow pearl, … [b]ut in the loneliness of the task, the thing became amplified into a complete alchemical opus.’ VON FRANZ 76-7

Visitors play with algorithmic light installation by sound designer Jörn Nettingsmeier. ‘The alchemist and her assistant make the sign of the secret, in accord with the experience that much of what happens in a relationship between two people cannot be shared with others.’ VON FRANZ 67, photo: Alina Lupu

Midnight, when the sun is at its lowest point and begins to rise again, is the turning point from death to life, from yesterday to the next day. This lowest moment of the enantiodromia and of the resurrection is Aker, for Aker means “that moment.”’ VON FRANZ 71

1 February is the syIMBOLiC first day of SPRING> >  >   . ..                                                             Super blue blood moon footage projection.

‘There is an image of the Union of king and queen as androgynous god holding male serpent with sun, and female serpent with moon.’ The moon god is Thoth, or Mercury, also the ape god. The moon is silver, Isis has beside her the sign of it.’ VON FRANZ 201

Monica Tormell preparing fire serpent, Imbolc. ‘If you wished to melt something or have it in liquid form it could be melted or dissolved in acid solutions, and for this reason the projection was that acid was the dangerous substance which dissolves, but which also makes it possible to handle certain substances.’ VON FRANZ 22

‘The parts of this universe that sympathize and cooperate with humans must be joined together by some means… And perhaps magic incantations provide such means, for they are not limited to conveying meaning but they also invoke. She who understands the relationship of the parts of the universe is truly wise: he can derive profit from the higher beings by capturing, by means of sounds [phonas], substances [hylas], and forms [schemata], the presence of those who are far away.’ SYNESIUS IN COULIANO 1984, 15-16. Evening title courtesy Felicia von Zweigbergk

Gravity & Levity
Rob Manthey (US/NL) – electronics . Hee-Seung Choi (US/NL) – cello


Aspasia Nasopoulou (GR/NL) – composer
Francesca Clements (UK/NL) – tenor recorder and electronics

Jasna Veličković (RS/NL) – magnets and coils

Margins of listening – navigating through lecture ‘Composition as Explanation’ by Gertrude Stein
Tao G. Vrhovec Sambolec (SI/NL) – reading, showing, knocking and forgetting excerpts from Stein’s 1925 lecture 

Eyeballs on fire

‘There are two kinds of actions by which, when they are carried out properly, a thing conceived in spirit comes true in action: namely, verbal expression and the working of the hand. There are indeed certain speeches which, coming from the mouth of (humans) – while expressing imagination, faith, and desire – actualize in the world motions within individual beings.’ – AL-KINDI

Doubt and the Secular Tongue: Language and Transformation among Evangelical Activists by Méadhbh McIvor, an anthropologist with a particular interest in the interaction of law and religion, and will here explore the use of ‘religious’ and ‘secular’ language by evangelical activists. Her ethnographic work focuses on conservative legal activism and the politics of religious freedom in contemporary Europe. She received her PhD in Anthropology from the London School of Economics in 2016, and is currently Assistant Professor in Religion, Law and Human Rights at the University of Groningen. 

‘On the Language of Creation’ by Romanian dissident, and scholar of religion and esotericism, Ioan P. Couliano (1950–91) with booklet designed by Michelle Parrott.

Excerpt, Romanian dissident Ioan P. Couliano’s ‘On the Language of Creation’, published the month before his assassination in May 1991, ‘For a long time I contemplated destroying it. But now I decided to hide it in such a way that I would add to its absurdity. I canceled all its marks, the number of Gates and even the pale initials …; I put the box casually on a pile of refuse called “Yard Sale” somewhere in Massachusetts …, and left pretending to avoid the looks of the improvised vendors, as does one of those innumerable clients who, tempted one moment to buy an item, would eventually decide to let it go.’ COULLIANO 1991, 140

Amsterdam-based designer Michelle Parrott, stick and poke sigils. ‘Mercurius as the divine child symbol of a new, objective attitude beyond conflict is born in the “philosopher’s egg” (the sealed alchemical vessel). As product of the union of opposites, consciousness and the unconscious, he stands on the sun and moon. The birds indicate the spiritual (psychic) nature of the process; the rays of the sun signify the importance of heat (emotion).’ VON FRANZ 168

Sidereal Reader, 2019, This Publication is produced with the support of San-Serriffe, Butcher’s Tears, and Amsterdams Fonds voor de Kunsten and available at San-Serriffe