Video: Joseph Matheny on Ong’s Hat & Blurring Fiction & Reality

FROM: Tim Boucher

Absolutely loved this video interview by Daily Grail with Joseph Matheny, multi-disciplinary artist & creator of the hyperreal conspiracy alternate-reality game precursor, Ong’s Hat. (According to this video, he was also apparently involved in the early John Titor time travel storytelling.)

Back in the olden days of blogging and counter-culturing, I was only ever peripherally aware of Ong’s Hat, never having delved too deeply into it, but this video resonated with me very strongly in more ways than one, as much of my own personal and collaborative work has followed a rather similar course especially these last ten years or so with Early Clues, LLCLiminal Earth (where I was an early ‘silent partner’), the Quatria Conspiracy (see also) and the now 120 volumes of AI Lore books which have built extensively on those multiverses as a backdrop.

I especially appreciated Joseph & Greg from Daily Grail’s candid takes on how the artistic blurring of real & fictional elements can be and has been extensively abused through parallel dark manifestations such as QAnon (though I passionately hate the term “bad actors”).

I also really liked what Matheny says about making niche art for “sixty-four people,” which is something I’ve increasingly come back to these past few years especially. We’re taught by social media that we have to chase likes and traffic, when really that kind of chase leads to shitty soulless art and obsession with all the wrong things in life. So it was nice to hear how closely Matheny’s experiences of this territory have paralleled my own. There was so much good stuff in this video that I almost feel like I need to go back and watch it again, as it was like getting a brain dump from someone who could see inside my head and my life.

Highly recommended!