Uranian Phalanstery

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The Uranian Phalanstery and the associated First New York Gnostic Lyceum Temple are artist collectives in New York City. The Uranian Phalanstery was established in 1974 in the Lower East Side of Manhattan by Richard Tyler and his wife, Dorothea Baer. For over thirty years, it has served as a stimulating, art-filled oasis for many gnostic artists. Due to the severe physical deterioration of the building, the Phalanstery was relocated to the Upper West Side in 2010. With fresh space and room to grow, the organization continues to evolve, challenging societal constructs and expanding the consciousness of its members and the society in which it exists.The Uranian Phalanstery regularly hosts community events, exhibitions and performances.

History[edit]

Richard and Dorothea Tyler, two artists who met while attending the Chicago Institute of Fine Art c. 1956, established the Uranian Phalanstery in 1974. The organization was a work in progress, beginning in the late 1950s, when the couple first moved into two adjacent buildings in the Lower East Side. These buildings housed the organization for over thirty years. The Phalanstery's ideology, rights, benefits, and codes of conduct were detailed in a Manifesto, written by Richard, and expressed the fundamental purpose of the organization as:"Members shall follow the "Practice of the Eightfold Way on the Path" and exercise "Creativity in Practice of the Path", executing a self documented life work on the way." The Manifesto and the Phalanstery itself were influenced by a diverse range of texts, religions and spiritual practices, specifically the teachings of Fourier, who recommended the reorganization of society into small communities (phalansteries), living in common. The Phalanstery was concerned with confronting the ethos of society, interjecting spiritual aspects into everyday life, and pioneering what is now referred to as 'new age' ideas. Richard viewed creativity as "a mantic procedure of the intuitive function" and was dedicated to merging life with art by building a supportive, nurturing community of like-minded artists. In order to spread the message of the Phalanstery, Richard would sell publications under "The Uranian Press", along with political trinkets, from a pushcart which he would walk from his basement studio on 326 E4th street to the corner of Judson Church at Lafayette and E4th. The Phalanstery was influenced by the psychedelic movement of that time and made contact with innovative creators and thinkers including Peter Shauman, Axel Gross, Timothy Leary, Monroe Wheeler, Al Hensson, Clause Oldenburg, Arnet Coleman and Thom D'Vita. Due to physical deterioration of the buildings, the Uranian Phalanstery moved to the Upper West Side in 2010. The organization is now run by Dorothea Tyler's protege, director and artist, Medi Matin.

Artists/Members[edit]

  • Richard Oviet Tyler (1926-1983): artist and founder of the Uranian Phalanstery. Tyler was born in Lansing, Michigan and attended the Art Institute of Chicago c. 1953-1957.
  • Dorothea Reab Tyler (1926-2012): wife of Richard Oviet Tyler and co-founder of the Uranian Phalanstery. Tyler also attended the went to the Art Institute of Chicago c. 1953-1957.

Publications[edit]

The Uranian Press was started by Richard in the late 1950s and served as a means for the Phalanstery to spread their message to a wider audience. Key publications of the Uranian Press include:

  • The Schizophrenic Bomb (1961), which details Richard's anitnuclear position on war and conflict.
  • Peranoids Primer (1961)
  • Mischances of Morely Perus in the Universal Mind (1960)
  • Creativity as a Mantic Procedure of the Intuitive Function (1959) which examined the unconsciousness.
  • The Biography of a Flower

Further reading[edit]

Zachary Aarons, Uranian Phalanstery Travel Goat, 2012

Jeff Kinkle and Salome Oggenfuss, The Living Ruins of the Uranian Phalanstery, Dossier Journal, 10-20-2011

Quasi Pagan Artists in West Harlem?, Harlem World Mag, 9-13-2010

Colin Moynihan, Artists' Collective and Burial Society Goes on the Move, New York Times, 9-12-2010