Hi, I’m Alison — an artist, editor, and entertainment writer. You can read my work at places like Flavorwire, Rue Morgue, FEARnet, MTV, Fandango — and previously Cinematical and Screamstress. I hold an MFA, focusing on installation, sculpture, video, and drawing. My art has been exhibited internationally, and I often use filmic narrative and imagery as the basis for my work. I’ve always had a deep respect for monument sculpture and a love for cemeteries, which is what inspires me to create unique gravestone rubbings and photographs. I’m from NYC, but I’m currently based in Philadelphia where I’m working on a book about giallo cinema. I also love Melrose Diner coffee, dancing on my bed, watching Twin Peaks on repeat, and making music that no one listens to.
“What the hell does Pineal Eye mean?”
The Pineal Eye takes its name from Georges Bataille’s essay of the same name — a philosophical construct in which he describes the pineal gland (referred to as the “third eye”), as the genesis for a fantasy/myth surrounding pure and impure blinding “vision.” Bataille believed the gland was a degenerated eye and that it’s position deep within the skull near the center of the brain was the secret to an ecstatic vision — and a void. It is here where the extremes, absolutes and oppositions — Bataille’s preferred stance on a kind of evolutionary narrative — are explored across the realms of art, philosophy, economics, religion, sexuality, death, and more.
“I imagined the eye at the summit of the skull like a horrible erupting volcano, precisely with the shady and comical character associated with the rear end and its excretions. Now the eye is without any doubt the symbol of the dazzling sun and the one I imagined at the summit of my skull was necessarily on fire, since it was doomed to the contemplation of the sun at the summit of its bursting [éclat]. The imagination of the ancients attributed to the eagle as solar bird the faculty of contemplating the sun face to face. In the same way an excessive interest in the simple representation of the pineal eye is necessarily interpreted as an irresistible desire to become a sun oneself (a blind sun or a blinding sun, it hardly matters). In the case of the eagle, as in the case of my own imagination, the act of directly looking is the equivalent of identification. But the cruel and shattering character of this absurd desire soon appears, due to the fact that the eagle is cast down from the heights of the skies — and, as for the eye that opens in the middle of the skull, the result, even imaginary, is much more terrifying, though horribly ridiculous.” — Georges Bataille
To explore Bataille’s theories on the pineal eye and more, I highly recommend picking up a copy of Visions Of Excess: Selected Writings, 1927-1939 (Theory and History of Literature).