The Rifts of Art: Reclaiming Our Capacity to Be Affected by the Real

J.F. Martel is a writer and filmmaker living in Ottawa, Canada. He is the author of Reclaiming Art in the Age of Artificepublished by North Atlantic Books. This episode is a companion to J.F.’s essay, “Consciousness in the Aesthetic Imagination,” published in Metapsychosis.

In this conversation Marco and J.F. discuss:

  • the paintings of Vermeer and Van Gogh
  • What makes an artwork a “classic”
  • art and artifice
  • the Church of Art (as a “church without walls”)
  • capitalism and alienation
  • panpsychism
  • the untimely and time-free (achronon)
  • art as singularity
  • art as nondual multiplicity
  • art as direct transmission
  • art as a question of “ultimate concern”
  • how religion is made out of art
  • the aesthetics of Catholicism
  • art and communion with the Real
  • the mystery of Being and the originary power of art
  • art and terrorism
  • the Wagnerian vision of art
  • art and the power to shape culture
  • art and the power to shape our intimate lives
  • art as apolitical / amoral
  • art and individuality
  • using the machinery of capitalism to subvert the machine
  • living in interesting times

Mentioned in this Episode


  • Martin Heidegger
  • Paul Tillich
  • Salvador Dali
  • Oscar Wilde*
  • Karl Marx
  • Friedrich Nietzsche
  • Daniel Pinchbeck
  • Beyoncé
  • Emily Dickinson
  • Stanley Kubrick
  • Gilles Deleuze

*Editor’s note: In the talk, Marco conflates Wilde’s The Soul of Man Under Socialism with his letter De Profundis.


  • The Ever-Present Origin – by Jean Gebser
  • Hamlet – by William Shakespeare
  • Mao II – by Don DeLillo


  • Vincent van Gogh, Still Life: Vase with Fifteen Sunflowers, 1888
  • Johannes Vermeer, Woman Holding a Balance, 1662


Audio Production

Modern Busker Productions


“What Does Anybody Know About Anything” and “It’s Always Too Late to Start Over” – by Chris Zabriskie

Creative Commons (CC BY 4.0) license