Principia Bolamatica – In which is contained the whole of wisdom #Bolam365+2 #BolamABC #BOLAM

Principia Bolamatica cover v2

Front cover of the Principia Bolamatica.

Like everything I do, the title of this post is both a joke and deadly serious.

When I was young, I used to collect and read books about the occult. I was looking for an answer to a question I didn’t understand, I suppose, but long before middle-age I realised that there is no answer. Only more questions, and the many mysteries and contradictions of life have no resolution. At least, none that can be understood by mere mortals.

That is the nature of life, the universe and everything.

My two previous attempts at a 365 project have been failures. The first seemed like a good idea:- for my 50th year, I was going to post a number of references for each of the 365 days including, a piece of music, a life experience, a work of art, and event that happened on that date etc etc etc, each day for the whole year. But the project was unwieldy and in the end I decided to just post one image that I had created, each day for the 365 days.


Despite, and possibly because, of this simplification, it had no coherence and, and the whole work added up to be nothing more than an administrative apology.

Bolam365+1 started of as an extremely coherent idea, comprising photo-composites of multiple “Bolaminions”, accidentally captured during timelapse shoots.

Bolaminions 1024x768.011

But I dropped the ball at the end of October 2015 when I got distracted onto other less important, unsuccessful, but highly time-consuming projects. I never caught up and now it’s too late. The second attempt was a much better project and I might re-run it and finish it another year.

I hesitate to promise too much for #Bolam365+2 in case it turns into an other damp squib, but here goes…

The Principia Bolamatica is a collision of images and text from notebooks and old work, partly inspired by Malaclypse the Younger’s Principia Discordia, Isaac Newton’s Principia Mathematica, and the cut-ups technique pioneered by Brion Gysin and used by Williams Burroughs & David Bowie (amongst many others). All significant influences on my work in one way or another at one time or another.

Anyway, I hope to publish one page a day for the 365 days of #BolamYear03 aka #Bolam365+2. Expect numerous revisions and I make no promises, my track record so far is nothing to be proud of.

Richard Bolam at 60: T-minus 3,179 #BolamProspective #bolamat60 #bolamat50+1

Launch event postcard v3 improved

Like much of my work, that title is half a joke and half deadly serious. I achieved much in the run-up to, and the year of Richard Bolam at 50, but there was so much more that I either failed to achieve, postponed, or simply did not complete. This is due to a number of life factors, not least more than a little mismanagement.

However, after much thought, I have decided to just continue the project and tag each subsequent year as #bolamat50+1, #bolamat50+2 etc, until I get to #bolamat60 (if I make it) and just see what happens on the way.

Partly inspired by Eduardo Paolozzi, Robert Rauschenberg & Jamie Reid (amongst many others), and referencing the Principia Discordia, Newton’s Principia Mathematica and the post-punk zine scene, I decided to assimilate some of the old material into a new publication (or publications) with a working title of “Principia Bolamatica”. This is a composite of leftover scraps from the “Stained by Dead Inkjets” sessions and scans from my notebooks and scrapbooks.

Principia mathematica page 2

Principia Bolamatica page x of x

I was introduced to the the Principia Discordia when I read Robert Anton Wilson’s book “Cosmic Trigger: The Final Secret of the Illuminati” when I was a teenager. Cosmic Trigger (volume 1 as it is now) is a load of new-age hokum and conspiracy theory bullshit, but is fascinating as a jumping off point for various weird shit that I have subsequently found interesting at times. The Principia Discordia is the gospel of a pseudo-religion called Discordianism. I am not a believer but I am drawn to the playfulness and non-literal interpretation of things like this, along with the cut-ups technique used by other artists I admire such as William Burroughs and David Bowie.

But that’s another story…

I have established an online backbone for this phase of the project as a group of WordPress blogs that will contain various media, but it is an ongoing project with no manifesto attached to it other than trying to finish the Richard Bolam at 50 project in a way that I am satisfied with it. As I have written before, the only element I consider a major failure is not getting the 12 issues of “Catalogue” finished within the Richard Bolam at 50 year but, although it’s too late to meet that deadline, I will be completing them over the next year or two. Issue two will be out soon.

The Principia Bolamatica will be hosted, one page at a time, on BolamABC and published bit by bit as one or more PDFs, but also look out for Bolam000, Bolam101, Bolam123, BolamA2Z, Bolam365, Bolam24/7, Bolam360, Bolam5x5, BolamXXX and BolamXYZ.

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Each of these blog sites will be used to host appropriate elements of various projects, some of which I have planned and some not. I will probably move over to as a main site but will remain live and I might add more content if that is the appropriate place for it.

Stand by…