I do not recall when I first encountered the works of Paul Laffoley (Wikipedia), but his blend of mystical subjects and technical diagrams appealed to me for obvious reasons. I missed an opportunity to meet him at the first Esozone (a.s.a. EsoZone, esoZone) conference in 2007 (August 10–12, Portland, OR), due to other commitments I held. (Fun fact, er, opinion: Following the event, Nicholas Pell commented that Paul gives the best hugs.) Later that year, I loaned my copy of The Phenomenology of Revelation to Michael “Miqel” Coleman so he could scan it for the Laffoley Archive. When the second Esozone came around in 2008, I knew I was going to miss another opportunity to meet Paul, so I asked Miqel if he would have Paul sign my copy of Phenomenology before returning it to me, which he did. Here is Miqel’s photograph of Paul signing the book at the Chaos Café in Portland:
In 2013, I missed my third (and final, it seems) chance to meet Paul, this time during his lecture at the Henry Art Gallery. Fortunately, I was able to see his exhibit (Paul Laffoley: Premonitions of the Bauharoque) there and so visit with some of my favorite of his works in the flesh, so to speak, including “Alchemy: The Telenomic Process of the Universe” and “Thanaton III.” Adjunct to that exhibit was “Mysticism as Information Design” (Wednesday, July 17): “Drawing from sources in alchemy, Theosophy and contemporary art, Joe Milutis, Assistant Professor in the School of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences at UW Bothell will guide visitors through ‘Paul Laffoley: Premonitions of the Bauharoque’. He will situate Laffoley’s work in the context of the long tradition of the mystic diagram, a visual trope that may tell us as much, if not more, about the history of design than the imponderabilia it attempts to grasp” (source). Here is some video from that event:
Thank you, Paul, for all you have done and all you will inspire others to do.
Vita sine Helvetica mors est.
August 14, 1940 – November 16, 2015