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Jamie Ross, A Script of Desire

The Canadian hypnotist and performance artist discusses the legacy of hypnotism, its use as therapy, the cipher he invented as a child, and his ritual calligraphic performance project A Script of Desire/ Yon Alfabe Nan Desi, presented in the lakou for the 2015 Ghetto Biennale in Port-au-Prince, Haiti.

Ross's project is motivated by his interest in the sacred and magical logics, especially as articulated by queer communities. From his adolescence, he used a cipher to encode secret messages in his journals, mostly about his sexuality and early experiments with magic. A Script of Desire develops these early forms of writing into a sacred space, where subconscious desires are channeled through automatic drawing in a state of light trance, similar to hypnosis.

Jamie Ross was born in a little house on Pendrith Street, just north of Toronto’s Christie Pits Park, above a buried river. Ross is an artist, filmmaker and writer. His writing has been anthologized and published in periodicals and artist’s books; his award-winning films have screened on four continents. Personal psychogeography and senses of place are abiding interests. Creating and documenting queer community based on a sincere engagement with magic, grafting himself onto the rich artistic traditions of his ancestors, cultural and biological, is fundamental. Ross lives in Montreal.



Ghetto Biennale: Radyo Shak


Radyo Shak was the independent broadcast voice of the Ghetto Biennale of Haiti, hosting freeform radio including Rara bands, locals, artists and writers, and Haitian revolutionary history.