David Lynch is here to shake things up

He’s out to change per­cep­tions as his Fes­ti­val of Dis­rup­tion un­furls this week­end.

Los Angeles Times - - CALENDAR - By Michelle Lhooq cal­en­dar@la­times.com

David Lynch’s in­stantly rec­og­niz­able, pinched-nose Mid­west­ern drawl crack­les through my phone’s speak­ers on an Oc­to­ber af­ter­noon: “You’re walk­ing down a path af­ter the sun is set,” he be­gins mat­ter-of-factly, with the whole­some, folksy af­fect that also has him drop­ping phrases like “fan­taaas­tic” and “I gotcha” dur­ing our in­ter­view.

“It’s dim light, and you see a coiled rope in the path,” he con­tin­ues. “You run away and start scream­ing. It’s al­ways been a coiled rope, but you see a snake.” He pauses for a beat, then re­marks: “That’s kind of the thing to think about.”

Lynch is try­ing to ex­plain how one’s per­cep­tion of the world hinges on state of mind — a key tenet of Tran­scen­den­tal Med­i­ta­tion, a tech­nique he has been prac­tic­ing and pros­e­ly­tiz­ing for more than four decades. Tran­scen­den­tal Med­i­ta­tion is at the heart of Lynch’s Fes­ti­val of Dis­rup­tion, a two­day event oc­cur­ring this week­end at the Ace Ho­tel in down­town Los An­ge­les that he hopes will help raise aware­ness of the prac­tice’s power and ben­e­fits.

“The more you tran­scend, you start to see life more as a game, rather than a tor­ment. This heavy weight of neg­a­tiv­ity lifts away, gold comes in, and garbage goes out. It’s the most beau­ti­ful thing.”

The fes­ti­val is part of his life­long mis­sion to spread this prac­tice to the world; all pro­ceeds will help the David Lynch Foun­da­tion teach the prac­tice to at-risk youth.

As Lynch puts it: “Imag­ine you came to a fes­ti­val where you can en­joy pho­tog­ra­phy, cinema, mu­sic and talks, and at the same time, hear about a tech­nique that would al­low you to walk away from suf­fer­ing and to­wards ab­so­lute, to­tal en­joy­ment.”

Fes­ti­val of Dis­rup­tion launched in 2016 and has un­folded in both New York and Los An­ge­les; this will be its fourth edi­tion. The Lynchcu­rated lineup is an eclec­tic, mul­ti­dis­ci­plinary stew. Per­form­ers in­clude Grace Jones and un­der­ground DJ Toki­mon­sta. RZA will live-score the clas­sic kung-fu movie “The 36th Cham­ber of Shaolin” with Wu-Tang Clan’s discog­ra­phy. Francis Ford Cop­pola will present his movie “Jack,” and Lynch will par­tic­i­pate in a Q&A — with free cof­fee and donuts for ev­ery­one. Fes­ti­val-go­ers can also browse the U.S. premiere of a Chris­tian Louboutin sculp­ture ex­hi­bi­tion or take part in a “Twin Peaks” VR ex­pe­ri­ence.

“To cu­rate some­thing and cre­ate a lineup that’s in­ter­est­ing and mean­ing­ful, it has to be an art form,” Lynch says. Many artists play­ing the fes­ti­val vol­un­teered their time to help the char­i­ta­ble cause, he ex­plains, while oth­ers were found on the in­ter­net or through word-of-mouth. One of the per­form­ers, Nashville mu­si­cian Justin John­son, landed on the bill af­ter a friend sent Lynch a link to a video of John­son play­ing a shovel fash­ioned into a three-string gui­tar. “Re­ally, re­ally great guy,” Lynch re­marks.

The term “dis­rup­tion” has, in re­cent years, been over-used to the point of non-mean­ing, hi­jacked by tele­vi­sion cre­ators try­ing to find a foothold in a clut­tered land­scape and faux-utopi­anist Sil­i­con Val­ley types promis­ing to up­end the world with their lat­est prod­ucts. Lynch him­self got into a bit of trou­ble re­cently when he said, in an in­ter­view with the Guardian, that “Trump could go down as one of the great­est pres­i­dents in his­tory be­cause he has dis­rupted the thing so much.”

Fes­ti­val of Dis­rup­tion, Lynch ex­plains, de­rives its name from a quote by Tran­scen­den­tal Med­i­ta­tion guru Ma­har­ishi Ma­hesh Yogi, but its con­nec­tion goes fur­ther. “A lot of artists like be­ing rebels. They want to break away and get to some­thing that’s new — that they love,” he says. “Hav­ing a Fes­ti­val of Dis­rup­tion is, in a way, for the rebels. If you re­ally want to be a rebel, you take this tech­nique [of Tran­scen­den­tal Med­i­ta­tion] and bring out the in­ner power that’s within ev­ery­one.” He lets out a low chuckle. “Then you’re set … for­ever.”

So what ex­actly is be­ing dis­rupted by this fes­ti­val?

“I say: dis­rupt­ing the bad old and bring­ing in the good new,” Lynch says, adding af­ter a beat: “Good to talk to ya! Bye-bye!”

Mar­cus Yam Los An­ge­les Times

“HAV­ING a Fes­ti­val of Dis­rup­tion is, in a way, for the rebels,” David Lynch says.

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